BJP leader and ex-Maharashtra MLA Madhu Chavan has been charged with raping a 50-year-old former party worker for the past 20 years after promising to marry her and transfer a flat in her name, police said on Wednesday.
Chavan, a former President of BJP's Mumbai unit, dismissed the rape allegation as "absolutely false".
Acting on a complaint filed by the woman, the Kalachowkey police yesterday booked him under IPC Sections 376 (punishment for rape), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 493 (cohabitation caused by a man deceitfully inducing a belief of lawful marriage.
“We have taken cognizance of a complaint by a woman who said she had been raped since 1993. We are investigating the matter further,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Dhananjay Kulkarni told media persons Wednesday evening.
Despite repeated attempts, top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in the state were not available for their comments in the matter.
Quoting the complainant, Additional Police Commissioner Praveen Salunkhe said, "The victim alleged that Chavan had raped her on several occasions since 1993. The duo got married in 2005 but it did not stand legal scrutiny."
"The victim said Chavan promised her a flat but he never transferred the property in her name," Salunkhe said.
According to police, the former legislator and the victim met for the first time at a party programme in February 1993. They became friends and met frequently.
The complainant claimed she had been raped at different places, including at her residence in central Mumbai.
Chavan told the victim he would marry her as he had strained relationship with his wife, they said.
The BJP leader has not been arrested yet and further probe was on, police added.
The 61-year-old politician rubbished the allegations levelled against him. "The allegations made against me are absolutely false. They (the complainant) want me to get out of politics," Chavan said.