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NCP will wait for probe outcome in case against Munde: Sharad Pawar

NCP chief Sharad Pawar. File   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar on Friday said the party will think of any action against Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde, facing rape accusation, only after the truth comes out post police probe in the matter.

Mr. Munde, the Social Justice Minister and NCP leader, has been accused of rape by a Mumbai-based woman, a charge he has strongly refuted and termed it as a blackmail attempt.

Mr. Pawar told reporters in Mumbai that the NCP wants an ACP rank woman officer to be part of the police team that will probe the allegations against Mr. Munde.

The former Union Minister’s comments came in the wake of the NCP leaders holding a late Thursday night meeting to discuss the issue. At the meeting, it was decided to let Mr. Munde continue in his post for now and take a call on his fate after the police investigation is completed.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Mr. Pawar had termed the allegations levelled by the woman as serious. On Thursday, BJP leader Krishna Hegde and Manish Dhuri of the MNS alleged that the same woman had allegedly harassed them, too.

Mr. Pawar on Friday said the claims made by Mr. Hegde and Mr. Dhuri were not in public domain when he had termed the allegations of the woman against Mr. Munde as being serious.

When we learnt these things [claims of Mr. Hegde and Mr. Dhuri], we came to a conclusion that the matter has to be probed in detail.

“We were and are sure that the Police Department will do that,” Mr. Pawar said, adding the party will not interfere in the police investigation.

The only thing we suggested was that there should be at least one woman ACP rank official probing the matter. They should bring to the fore facts after taking information about the complaints. And they should complete the probe as soon as possible, he added.

Mr. Pawar said possibility that injustice will be meted to one if the matter is not probed in detail cannot be ruled out and hence, the party is waiting for the investigation outcome. The NCP president said he has full confidence that the Mumbai Police will bring the truth out.

Asked about some BJP leaders targeting the NCP over the episode involving Mr. Munde, Mr. Pawar said it is the right of the opposition to criticise.

But, he added, it is the responsibility of the NCP to go deep into the matter to know the facts and take the right decision accordingly.

On the BJP making repeated allegations against NCP leaders such as Mr. Munde and Nawab Malik [another NCP minister], Mr. Pawar attributed the same to the restlessness of the NDA lead constituent after losing power in Maharashtra.

“It is alright. I can understand the restlessness of those who have lost power. I don’t see it as different from targeting those because of whom they feel they lost the power,” he added.

Mr. Malik’s son-in-law has been arrested by the NCB in a drugs case. Asked about another allegation against Mr. Munde that he hid information about having two more children from the relationship with the sister of the complainant woman, Mr. Pawar said it needs to be checked and added such cases of hiding information have happened in the country previously.

It needs to be checked whether he got married for the second time or has more children, but did not share the information. Such cases have happened in the country. “Even (there are) cases involving the highest people. But I don’t want to go into their details,” Mr. Pawar said without naming anyone.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 8:04:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ncp-will-wait-for-probe-outcome-in-case-against-munde-sharad-pawar/article33580664.ece

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