Mr. Thackeray has yet to take a call on whether or not to accept the Minister’s resignation
Maharashtra Forest Minister and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rathod resigns from the Maharashtra cabinet for his alleged connection with the death of a 23-year-old woman from the nomadic Banjara community in Pune.
Mr. Rathod, who has been under fire from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for nearly three weeks following the incident, tendered his resignation to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday.
Mr. Thackeray has yet to take a call on whether or not to accept the Minister’s resignation.
While stating that the affair was a ploy to defame him, Mr. Rathod said that he would assist in the investigation.
Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who is the BJP’s Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Legislative Assembly, however, hit out at the Uddhav Thackeray government for the latter’s handling of the affair.
“This [resignation] has come too late … the current state of Maharashtra’s law and order situation is deplorable. Despite so much evidence against Mr. Rathod, why has no FIR still been lodged against him? This case has exposed the Thackeray government’s true colours,” he alleged.
Mr. Fadnavis further said that while the Minister should have been made to resign immediately after the incident, the MVA government continued to shield him until Mr. Rathod’s position finally became untenable.
“It is clear that this case was being suppressed right from the first day…Mr. Rathod had the blessings of this government, which has similarly shielded scandal-tainted NCP leaders Dhananjay Munde and Mehboob Shaikh,” he said.
The BJP leader demanded that the government probe the tardiness of police officers entrusted with this case and sought their suspension.
Mr. Fadnavis said that the BJP would continue to agitate until justice was served to the deceased lady’s kin.
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