Rape accused Maharashtra minister cries conspiracy; BJP demands action
Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde has been accused of rape, a charge he denied saying he was in a consensual relationship with the accuser's sister and that they were blackmailing him. The victim, a singer, took to Twitter, to allege cops didn't take requisite action. Soon, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member's ouster from the Cabinet.
The accuser said Munde first violated her in 2006 when her sister, whom he supposedly married in 1998, wasn't home. He repeated the same over the years. In the letter she posted on social media, she said Munde also filmed the abuse. He pestered her by calling her and flaunted his "connections in Bollywood," saying he could get her launched, the woman claimed.
Her advocate, Ramesh Tripathi said Munde told the alleged victim he would leak her video if she said anything. "We will go to court. If anything happens to her, then Dhananjay Munde will be responsible," he told ANI. In a series of tweets, the woman said she would fight till the end. She had also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in her first post.
On Tuesday, Munde uploaded a long post on Facebook, dismissing the allegations. He said his relationship with the accuser's sister started in 2003, and they had two kids. Munde's wife and friends were aware of this relationship, he added. "From school admission to all the papers, these kids have my name as parents, these kids stay with me," the post read.
However, in 2019, the sisters, along with their brother started blackmailing him. "My life was also given threats of serious physical injury, betrayal," he wrote. In November, the accuser's sister published private material to defame me, Munde alleged, adding that he filed a complaint at the Bombay High Court in this connection. HC ordered her not to publish any material.
Munde revealed lawyers from both sides were also engaged in reconciliation and it would be best if this case is left out of the media's attention to keep the judicial process fair. About the accuser, the politician said he has evidence to show she has been demanding money from him. In conclusion, he urged people not to believe the allegations.
Munde is a first-time MLA but emerged as an important NCP leader. He joined the party in 2013, after breaking ties with BJP as his uncle Gopinath Munde preferred daughter Pankaja as the heir. After the serious allegations surfaced, BJP took potshots at the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government. National Executive Member Kirit Somaiya opined Munde has no right to continue in the Cabinet.
"Dhananjay Munde has himself admitted that he has one too many wives. And now a third woman has made fresh allegations. Dhananjay Munde has no right to remain in the state Cabinet till he comes clean of all the allegations against him," Somaiya said.