Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar on Tuesday wrote to Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil on Tuesday against the “objectionable” remarks made about her by BJP MLA Ashish Shelar, and said she would file a complaint against the BJP leader.
Interacting with the media here last week, Shelar had slammed the mayor for her allegedly delayed response in reaching out to the victims of the cylinder blast in Worli. He asked if the mayor had been sleeping for 72 hours. In her letter, Pednekar said that Shelar’s remarks were not only insulting to her but also to women.
The State Women’s Commission took exception to Shelar’s remarks, and commission chairperson Rupali Chakankar directed the Mumbai police commissioner to submit a report on the matter.
Chakankar said, “The women’s commission has suo motu taken note of BJP (MLA) and former minister Ashish Shelar’s derogatory remark against Pednekar. The commission will not tolerate the use of such language against women.” The commission has also decided to file a case against Shelar.
Shelar’s words also prompted sharp reactions from ruling parties.
Following the cylinder blast in the Worli’s BDD Chawl last week, the injured were taken to Nair Hospital for treatment, where a four-month-old infant and his father succumbed to injuries, allegedly due to negligence by the hospital authorities. Shelar had expressed outrage over the incident, saying that after such a major accident, patients taken to the municipal hospital do not feel safe there, nor do they receive timely medication.
“The mayor of Mumbai reached the hospital 72 hours after the accident. Was the mayor sleeping for 72 hours? What is going on in the BMC?” Shelar had asked. Alleging that the BMC was playing with the lives of Mumbaikars, Shelar criticised the ruling Shiv Sena in the corporation.
After the injured reached Nair Hospital, they were kept waiting for over 45 minutes without medical attention, Shelar said. Even after the injured were admitted, the mayor or BMC officials did not visit the spot, but a group of BJP leaders arrived and exposed the negligence, he added. In protest, BJP members resigned from the Health Committee.
In response to the mayor’s letter, 12 women corporators from the BJP wrote to Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Vishwas Nagre Patil to take strict action against those tweeting and sharing posts insulting the mayor on social media. The BJP also shared social media handles of three individuals.
“BJP leader and MLA Ashish Shelar’s entire video is available on YouTube. In the video, Ashish Shelar has criticised the entire civic administration and the ruling Shiv Sena. However, some people (on social media) have morphed the video and distorted the facts and have insulted the mayor. We request you to investigate the facts and file a case under the appropriate section of the Indian Penal Code against those who spread these rumours and distorted posts/tweets,” read the letter.