Facing rape charges, Munde to continue as minister for now

Facing rape charges, Munde to continue as minister for now

Mumbai: In a relief for Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde, who is facing rape allegation by a woman, his party NCP has decided to let him continue in the cabinet post for now, sources said on Friday. According to the sources, the decision was taken considering the complaints of harassment made against the woman by some leaders from the opposition BJP and the MNS.

Top NCP leaders, including party president Sharad Pawar, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, Water Resources Minister Jayant Patil and senior leader Praful Patel, met here late Thursday night to discuss the issue. The meeting was held at Patel's residence.

Munde (45), the social justice minister in the Shiv Sena-led MVA government, has refuted the rape charges and dubbed them as blackmail attempt.

On Thursday, BJP leader Krishna Hegde and Manish Dhuri of the MNS alleged that the same woman had allegedly harassed them, too.

Munde had levelled blackmailing charges against the woman. Now other party politicians, too, have levelled such charges against the woman concerned.

The allegation by BJP and MNS leaders somewhere seems to strengthen Munde's claims. A police probe is going on in a case relating to Munde.

"We will need to wait for its conclusion. So, it was decided that Munde will continue in the post for now, the sources said.

Pawar on Friday said the party will think of any action against Munde only after the truth comes out post police probe in the matter.

Pawar told reporters here that the NCP wants an ACP rank woman officer to be part of the police team that will probe the allegations against Munde. He said the claims made by Hegde and Dhuri were not in public domain when he had termed the allegations of the woman against Munde as being serious. When we learnt these things (claims of Hegde and Dhuri), we came to a conclusion that the matter has to be probed in detail.

"We were and are sure that the police department will do that, Pawar said, adding the party will not interfere in the police investigation.

The only thing we suggested was that there should at least one woman ACP rank official probing the matter. They should bring to the fore facts after taking information about the complaints. And they should complete the probe as soon as possible, he added.

Next Story
Share it