They asked why the state government is going soft on Mahadev Jankar after taking stern action against Eknath Khadse.
Congress and NCP have upped the ante against BJP and demanded the resignation of Rashtriya Samaj Paksh (RSP) president and Cabinet Minister Mahadev Jankar for threatening an election officer and violating poll code in the legislative assembly at Nagpur. They disrupted the proceedings of the legislature sharpened their attack on the state government and asked why it is going soft on Jankar when they had taken stern action against former Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse. NCP said that Jankar has misused his ministerial position and action must be taken against him for threatening election officer. Thus the opposition parties have raked up an issue to target the BJP after it was unable to derive mileage from the demonetisation issue. Jankar, a Dairy Development and Fisheries Minister had asked the election officer to assign cup and saucer symbol for the candidate supported by him to contest municipal corporation elections scheduled to be held in Gadchiroli. He had asked the official to revoke the application filed by the Congress leader to contest election.
The opposition has demanded for a debate on this issue. They also held demonstrations and held posters demanding Jankar’s resignation.
Congress MLA Vijay Wadettiwar said, “If the BJP had taken action against tainted leader like Eknath Khadse why it failed to register a case against Jankar? Why is the party not acting against Jankar? He doesn’t have any right to continue in the office.”
“There is sufficient proof that Jankar misused his powers. He should not be morally sitting on the chair. The chief minister should sack him from the cabinet,” said Congress party spokesperson Sachin Sawant.
Earlier Congress had filed a complaint with the state election commission after the video of Jankar threatening the election officer had gone viral on social media. The SEC cancelled the election procedure in ward no 9 in Desaiganj municipal council and also lodged a complaint against Jankar under violation of election code of conduct. It had issued a notice to Jankar and sought a clarification from him. Jankar nonetheless filed a reply and said that all the allegations made against him are baseless. He said that he did not threaten or pressurise the election officer but requested him to provide specific symbol to the independent candidate.
On the other hand, the BJP criticised the opposition for politicising this issue. BJP Mumbai unit president Ashish Shelar said, “Jankar is yet to be proved guilty hence he won’t tender his resignation. The opposition is indulging in politics of disruption.”
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis too came forward to defend Jankar and said, “Jankar is a good person and an innocent leader. It is not right to demand his resignation at this juncture.”