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Minister under fire for attending school meet armed with a gun

Maharashtra's Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan speaking at a school function in Jalgaon district, with a gun tucked at his waist. Photo: Special Arrangement  

A day after a senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Maharashtra’s Water Resource Minister Girish Mahajan was seen at a school function armed with a gun, the Opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress have demanded his resignation.

Mr. Mahajan had tucked the gun at his waist when he arrived at the function attended by differently abled school children in Jalgaon district on Sunday. The Minister did not have police protection at the time, but there were several police officers from the district with him on the dais.

“It was my licensed gun and I have been carrying it for the last 20 years. I regularly update my licence,” he said on Monday. “I admit the revolver was visible. But I have never pointed it at anyone or been involved in violence ever in my life.” The Opposition raised the issue in the Assembly. “This has never happened in the State. This is Maharashtra. A Minister carrying a gun openly in front of school children is a despicable act,” said NCP’s group leader Jayant Patil. Another senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar demanded Mr. Mahajan’s resignation.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, however, came to the rescue of his Cabinet colleague. “One is supposed to carry his licensed gun with him and not keep it at home. He hasn’t done anything wrong or illegal,” he said.

Speaker Haribhau Bagde advised the State government to ask the Minister to not openly exhibit his gun, especially in front of children. The Opposition walked out of the question hour session protesting against the government.

Mocking the CM’s defence, NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad did a photo session inside the Assembly campus with a toy gun.

Maharashtra’s Water Resource Minister Girish Mahajan, a gun tucked at his waist, speaking at a school in Jalgaon district on Sunday.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 12:25:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/girish-mahajan-flayed-for-carrying-gun-to-childrens-event/article7048915.ece

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