February 27, 2021 8:22:59 pm
Maharashtra Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod has been ordered by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to tender his resignation. “I am sure the minister will soon resign. It might happen any moment, maybe later this evening or tomorrow,” Shiv Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut told The Indian Express on Saturday.
Raut said the Chief Minister was well aware of the situation and was closely monitoring it. “The Chief Minister has not shut his eyes to what is happening…He has been closely monitoring the situation. The Chief Minister is a ‘satyavadi’ and will take the appropriate decision,” said Raut.
Senior Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat, who is also a minister, said, “The Maha Vikas Aghadi government will not support any wrongdoing. If something is wrong, it is wrong, the government will take appropriate action in the matter.”
The Maharashtra BJP has been demanding Rathod’s ouster from the State Cabinet since he was linked to the suicide of Pooja Chavan. Senior BJP leader Chitra Wagh, who has been spearheading the agitation, said she strongly believed that Thackeray and NCP chief Sharad Pawar will ensure Rathod’s exit from the ministry. “Rathod has no right to remain in the ministry…there is concrete proof about his involvement in Pooja Chavan’s suicide. The police should take immediate action against him,” she said.
Rathod has denied his involvement in the suicide case.
Pooja Chavan, an aspiring model and resident of Parli Vaijanath in Beed district, died after falling from the balcony of an apartment in Pune’s Hadapsar area on February 8. A TikTok star, she, like Rathod, was from the Banjara community and active in community work. She was seen in a few political campaigns. Soon after her death, several photos and audio clips surfaced purportedly linking her to Rathod.
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After her death, Rathod had made no public appearances for two weeks and was not seen in his office in Mantralaya.
The Pune City Police has registered an accidental death case as per procedure at the Wanawadi police station and is treating it as a case of suicide. Chavan’s family has not filed any complaint with the police.
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