Pankaja Munde
Pankaja Munde
File Photo

BJP leader Pankaja Munde, who is the Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde’s cousin, on Monday broke her silence on the recent controversy over a rape complaint filed by a singer and later her decision to withdraw it against the latter. She said it was a closed chapter. However, the BJP leader noted that she will not support her cousin if the rape allegations against minister Dhananjay Munde comes to be true.

‘’I cannot support this morally, legally and in principle. The issue is sensitive to her as I have also worked as the minister of woman and child welfare. As a relative (of Dhananjay), I look at all those things sensitively,’’ said Pankaja who was defeated by Dhananjay Munde in Parli constituency in the assembly elections held in 2019. "But anything like that can hurt a family and the children in a family,’’ she viewed.

She also called upon the media to be sensitive and ensure that the overcall case is not affected.

Pankaja’s statement comes days after BJP has been divided on this issue. Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had said let the police and court decision come; the party will take a stand in this case. However, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil pressed for the minister Dhananjay Munde’s resignation. However, NCP stood with the minister and did not succumb to the opposition pressure in seeking his resignation. After the signer withdrew the rape case, NCP said it stands vindicated.

Against this backdrop, she took a swipe at her own party BJP, and said that she would not have capitalised on the issue even if it was about someone else.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who strongly stood with the minister Dhananjay Munde, lashed out at the opposition for raking up the issue despite the singer having withdrawn her complaint. "What can I say to the opposition now?" The opposition, which in a haste, supported the complainant and misled the people. They stand exposed now. It is quite pathetic on the part of the opposition. Dhananjay has made his position clear. Do you want me to reveal who had hidden many details? Asked Pawar.

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Free Press Journal