Shiv Sena sent dummy MLA to meet farmers, alleges Congress

Mumbai: The Shiv Sena which has been shouting from rooftops demanding waiver of farmers’ loans has landed in a big soup. The party’s lie was exposed as one of their legislators, Gautam Chabukswar, sent Yashodhar Phanse as his substitute and presented him as the legislator to interact with farmers during the Marathwada tour.

Phanse, however, has denied the allegations saying he did not present himself as a legislator.

The former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan has demanded severe punishment to Chabuskwar, the Sena legislator.

Sena sent 40 legislators on a tour to Marathwada on May 6 and 8 to meet farmers and get details of the number of farmers who committed suicide. The delegation also found out the amount of tur dal yet to be procured by the state government, and other issues related to farmers.

The members included legislator Sampark Pramukh (party in-charge) and few current and former corporators of BMC.

According to a national news channel, advocate Gautam Chabukswar, the legislator from Pimrpi-Chinchwad, who is on private tour to north India, had skipped the tour of Osmanabad. Chabuskwar was assigned the responsibility of Osmnabad tehsil by the party chief Uddhav Thackeray.

According to reports, his team member and former corporator Yashodhar Phanse was introduced as a legislator to farmers. Phanse denied the allegations and said it was not so.

“Chabukswar was not with us, but the local former legislator Om Raje Nimbalkar joined us. There was no question of introducing me as a legislator. These allegations against me are baseless and false,” said Phanse.

Chabukswar, who reached Pune after his holiday refuted he had sent anyone to the village. He said, “For last 15 days, I was in Himachal Pradesh and now after reaching Pune after completing my meditation course, I do not have any idea about the person, who went to the village, impersonating me.”

Chabukswar, who was on a Pune-bound flight, said, “I do not even know the person named, so there is no question of sending him as my dummy or a substitute.” He also claimed he was not present at the meeting called by Thackeray for the Sampark Yatra.

Prithviraj Chavan, former chief minister, said opposition leaders will meet soon and discuss on the future course of action. He said, “Legislator Chabukswar must need to be heard by the House committee of state legislature. But I will recommend highest punishment for the legislator.”

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