Senior Maharashtra BJP leader and former minister Babanrao Lonikar has landed in a spot after an audio clip surfaced on social media in which he is purportedly heard threatening a policeman.
“Policesaana vidhasabhet ulta tangu (Will hang the police upside down in the Vidhan Sabha),” Lonikar is heard telling an assistant police inspector (API) from Partur, his home constituency, in the audio clip.
This is the second time this year when Lonikar has courted a controversy for making outrageous comments. In February, another audio clip had surfaced where the BJP leader, in a public speech, had purportedly called a woman tehsildar a “heroine”.
Lonikar was the water supply and sanitation minister in the previous Devendra Fadnavis government.
In the latest controversy, Lonikar’s remarks are said to have made during a telephonic with the API following a raid conducted by the police at a local businessman’s house a few days ago.
Objecting to the raid where nothing objectionable was found, Lonikar is heard questioning the officer on how could the police be raiding someone’s house without court orders. When the API informed that they were acting on a tip off regarding illegal stocking of gutkha inside the house, Lonikar is heard losing his cool and threatening the police. He is heard telling that officer that 100 MLAs in the Vidhan Sabha will order the suspension of the IPS officer on whose directions the raids were carried out.
When contacted, Lonikar attempted to downplay the controversy saying that the police had apologised to the businessman for the “unwarranted” raid.