Maha BJP chief appoints panel to probe BJYM activist's charge

Mumbai: Maharashtra BJP president Raosaheb Danve today appointed a three-member committee to probe the allegation by a woman member of the party's youth wing that she was molested by former Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) Mumbai unit president Ganesh Pandey.

Raosaheb Danve
Raosaheb Danve. Pic/ Sameer Markande

The committee, comprising former minister Shobhatai Fadnavis, will submit its reports after "probing all facts in the case", a BJP spokesperson said here this evening.

Meanwhile, NCP has demanded Pandey's arrest in the case. NCP national spokesperson Nawab Malik today referred to a letter purportedly written by the woman activist, which he claimed also mentions Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde's name.

"We demand that Mumbai police arrest Tawde and Pandey and, if needed, the case should be handed over to the Mathura court, where the incident happened," Malik said.

Last week, the woman, in a written complaint to BJP's Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar, had alleged that Pandey sexually harassed her during the BJP youth wing's three-day executive committee meeting in Mathura. Pandey had accompanied the victim for the meeting in the Uttar Pradesh city.

The allegation by the woman activist shook the BJP's Mumbai unit. Following the letter, the Mumbai BJP's youth wing has been disbanded and Pandey removed from the post.

However, no police case has been filed against him so far. The NCP's women wing today protested against the Mumbai BJP.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters here today, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray said Pandey should be treated as "social criminal" and action should be taken against him accordingly.

"My stand on the issue is very clear. Whichever party the person (Pandey) belongs to, he should be seen as a social criminal and without considering his political affiliation, action should be taken against him.

"It does not matter if he belongs to this party or that party. There cannot be any leniency shown towards him and he cannot be forgiven for his crime. Appropriate action should be taken against him," Thackeray said.

Pandey has denied the charges and alleged a political conspiracy against him.

Yesterday, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Shalini Thackeray visited DN Nagar police station yesterday, demanding police action against Pandey.

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