Maharashtra BJP MLC Gopichand Padalkar claimed to have unveiled a full-sized statue of Punyashlok Ahilya Devi Holkar at the Jejuri fort, a day before the scheduled ceremony for unveiling the statue at the hands of the Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar.
After unveiling the statue, Padalkar stated that people did not want a "corrupt and casteist person like Sharad Pawar" to unveil the statue.
"Thus we came here and unveiled it," Padalkar added in the video he posted on Twitter.
"Ahilya Devi Holkar has done a commendable work across the country, extending from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. However, the image of Sharad Pawar is exactly the opposite," he added.
The memorial inauguration is slated to be done on February 13 at 4:30 pm by Pawar.
Refuting what Padalkar has claimed, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh informed that the attempt by Padalkar to unveil the statue of Ahilya Devi Holkar was thwarted yesterday by the police personnel and they are taking appropriate action against him.
The memorial inauguration will be done tomorrow at 4:30 pm by Pawar, he further informed.
In June 2020, Padalkar, who is a close confidant of former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, had stoked a controversy by calling NCP chief Sharad Pawar the ‘corona’ that has infected Maharashtra. Padalkar had also accused the former union minister of politicising the long-pending issue of reservation for the Dhangar (shepherd) community.
Padalkar, who had joined the BJP ahead of the 2019 Assembly election, lost his deposit to NCP's Ajit Pawar in Baramati constituency.
(With inputs from PTI)