Mumbai, Jan 13 (IANS) The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday urged Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to take action against a Minister Dhananjay Munde, accused of alleged rape by a woman.
BJP women's wing leader Chitra Wagh demanded that Munde should be asked to resign and the police should conduct an impartial probe.
Similarly, ex-MP Kirit Somaiya shot off a complaint to the Election Commission of India (ECI) demanding a probe into and appropriate action against Munde for suppressing information about "his two wives and all children and properties in their names" in his 2019 assembly election affidavit.
Munde, 45, has been under fire after a woman lodged a written complaint with Mumbai Police on January 11 accusing him of raping her for the last several years.
While the Oshiwara Police have not yet taken cognizance or lodged a First Information Report in the matter, Munde, who is the nephew of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde and quit the BJP to join the NCP, late on Tuesday sought to clear the air in a detailed social media post. The NCP has not yet commented on the controversy.
Detailing the issue, Munde - among other things - said that the allegations against him are false, defamatory, and he has SMS proofs that the woman made calls from her mobile demanding billions of rupees as blackmail.
He admitted that he was in a relationship with a woman since 2003, through whom he has a son and daughter and he looks after them with the full knowledge and consent of his wife and family.
Munde said he had arranged a house for her and an insurance policy, etc.
"But, from 2019, she and her sister blackmailed me and started demanding money. A complaint has also been filed with the police regarding all these matters that are happening since November 12, 2020," Munde claimed.
He said that he was threatened by their brother, and in November 2020, the elder sister published certain personal and private material related to him on social media and blackmailed him.
"That's why I am trying to get justice for myself in this case. A petition has been filed against her in the high court. The high court has passed orders against her banning the publishing of such material. The petition is pending for further hearing, meanwhile the process of reconciliation by lawyers on both sides is also going on," Munde wrote.
However, he said that since the past couple of days, her younger sister has made false claims of alleged rape with the promise of marriage, which is part of the blackmail plan perpetrated by the two sisters and their brother.
Prominent human rights activist Advocate Asim Sarode said that Munde was in a 'marriage-like' relationship with a woman who was not his legal wife, and in his case his first wife and the other woman have no complaints.
The information a candidate has to give to the ECI should include about the legal wife, but he has probably created a serious legal error by hiding the children's information in his poll affidavit.
"If anyone complains, the EC can cancel Munde's representation (election) in this case. There are no examples of the ECI itself taking such cases seriously, and there is a general perception that the ECI is not doing anything," Sarode said.
Sarode cited the instance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's affidavit without informing he had a wife, but in the next election he announced he was married, but even then no action was taken against him.
"Therefore, it is doubtful that the ECI will take strict action against Munde for not providing information about the children. However, CM Uddhav Thackeray, who has political and moral powers, can take action and remove Munde from the ministry," Sarode said.
On her part, the sister on January 12, took to social media claiming that she had earlier approached Oshiwara Police Station but her complaint was not accepted.
She claimed that Munde -- who is reportedly her brother-in-law and had married her sister in 1998 -- first raped her in 2006 when she was alone at home and then repeated the act multiple times over the years on the pretext of marriage and helping her get Bollywood singing assignments.