Rioting, rioting with weapons, wrongful assembly. These are some of the charges listed against Ramesh Bagwe (55), your minister of state for home, who is responsible for maintaining law and order in the state. He chose not to mention the three cases against him while filing his election affidavit in 2009.
They’ve now got him in trouble: Bagwe is under the Election Commission (EC) scanner.
On Thursday, HT reported that the EC has asked Pune district collector to probe the allegation that Bagwe hid information about the cases against him.
If guilty, he could be the first state minister to be booked for hiding information from the poll panel and the voters. It can mean up to two years in jail.
Police records show three cases were filed at Pune’s Yerawada, Swargate and Deccan Gymkhana police stations. Two were registered in 2001 for defying prohibitory orders, the third in 2004 for rioting, rioting with dangerous weapons, wrongful restraint and unlawful assembly.
EC rules demand that at the time of filing nomination papers, candidates must disclose information about the cases pending in court against them.
“The allegation against Bagwe becomes more serious if one considers his current designation — Minister of State for Home, whose duty it is to maintain the rule of law,” said Sadanand Shetty, his opponent candidate and petitioner who took the case to the EC.
In May, the state dropped the pending cases against him.
“I will not comment on this issue,” Bagwe said.