The raging controversy over the rape charges by a singer against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde took a startling twist on Thursday after Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Krishna Hegde, who is a former Congress legislator, filed a complaint in Amboli police station against the singer for plotting a honey trap and blackmailling him since 2010.
Hegde’s move comes at a time when BJP was demanding Munde’s resignation. It has put BJP on defensive and cut a sorry figure after its party leader came out in open and claimed that the woman, who has accused Munde of raping her in 2016, had been harassing him till 2015, trying to get him into a relationship.
Since Wednesday, BJP has been a divided house. Leader of the Opposition Devendra Fadnavis has sought a fair probe into the allegations levelled against the minister. BJP state unit chief Chandrakant Patil and the party's woman wing have strongly demanded Munde’s resignation. A section of the party workers had launched a campaign on social media demanding Munde’s resignation. However, Hegde’s move stunned BJP.
Hegde said in a letter to the police, “Through my sources, I found out that she is a dubious person who is setting up a honey trap. I totally avoided meeting her. I am informed that few more people have been honey-trapped and money has been extorted."
This harassment "to the point of stalking" involved messages and phone calls from multiple numbers and went on from 2010 to 2015, he said. "Even on January 6, 2021, and January 7, 2021, she texted me. I did not respond to the messages, except sending her a thumbs up emoji," Hegde noted.
Hegde said he was "shocked" to see her allegations against Munde, prompting him to reach out to the police. "Today, they have targeted him. A couple of years ago, it could have been me, and tomorrow it will be someone else," he said.
Meanwhile, NCP and Munde have been closely keeping an eye on the developments after Hegde decided to speak and file a police complaint against the 37-year-old aspiring singer from Mumbai. Munde has already denied charges. He claimed that he has been in a relationship with her sister for years and has two children with her outside his marriage. Calling it a plot to blackmail him, he said that he had also filed a complaint with the police in November.
Meanwhile, the complainant's lawyer, Ramesh Tripathi said, "We visited the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) office of DN Nagar division and asked them to register a First Information Report (FIR). While they are still recording the statement, no case has been registered yet. Me and the client were sitting in the office for five hours. Moreover, I also received threat calls from Munde's office to withdraw the complaint. The threats claimed that, if I don't withdraw, then my office will be vandalized. I will be writing to the Navi Mumbai CP in connection to this matter," said advocate Tripathi.
When asked about the allegations pitted by Hegde, Tripathi said that it is a motivated action and the allegations are completely baseless and false.