Mumbai: A video of Union Minister Raosaheb Patil Danve allegedly backing cow slaughter went viral on social media, prompting the BJP leader to claim that it was "doctored" and that he had made no such remarks.
In the video, Danve can be heard assuring Muslims that they need not worry about ban on cow slaughter as long as he is the minister. Later, Danve issued a statement, calling the video misleading and doctored.
He asserted that he made no such comments during his meeting with Muslims in Bhokardan Assembly constituency in his home district Jalna ahead of the October 21 Maharashtra Assembly elections.
In the video, he was purportedly seen as saying, "After the government implemented 'Govansh Hatya Bandi' (ban on cow progeny slaughter), some Muslims expressed concerns over its impact on their livelihood ahead of Bakri-Id.
I told them they should not worry as long as I am there and that no one will stop them (from carrying on with cow slaughter)".
Danve is also heard referring to the "illegal business of rice and sandalwood" which goes on in the area. "Should I stop it, I can stop it in a day," he is heard saying in the viral video clip.
Issuing a clarification, Danve said, "It has been brought to my notice that a video of my meeting in the Muslim area of Kathor Bazaar of Bhokardan, during the Maharashtra Assembly election campaign, is being circulated on electronic media and other social media websites.
Meanwhile, a police complaint has been filed against Danve in Sangli. The minister’s son Santosh is the BJP's nominee for the Bhokardan Assembly seat.
The complainant Nitesh Oza said his Hindu religious sentiments were hurt by Danve's purported remarks and demanded that an FIR be registered against the minister.
Taking strong objection to the statement, NCP has demanded that he should be arrested for abetment of cow slaughter.