Shiv Sena minister Sanjay Rathod hands over resignation to Uddhav Thackeray
The BJP has alleged that the deceased woman was in a relationship with Rathod and he should be booked in the case.
Shiv Sena minister Sanjay Rathod, facing allegations in death by suicide of a 23-year-old Pune woman, tendered his resignation to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday afternoon, Rathod said. However, the party has not made any official announcement of his resignation.
Leaders aware of developments said that the forest disaster management minister, however, requested Thackeray not to accept his resignation until the inquiry is completed. Thackeray, who is also the Shiv Sena chief, was irked by Rathod’s show of strength at Pohradevi temple in Washim earlier this week.
"I have submitted my resignation to chief minister Uddhav Thackeray," Rathod told reporters outside Varsha, the official residence of the CM.
"Till the inquiry is conducted I have stepped down. There was politics being played out on the issue; the manner in which the opposition said they will not let proceedings happen, therefore I have stepped down. I want a fair inquiry to be conducted and the truth to come out," Rathod added after resigning as the forest minister.
Leaders referenced above said that senior Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde, who met Thackeray behind closed doors, suggested that Rathod’s resignation should not be accepted till the inquiry report in the February 8 suicide case is submitted, bringing the truth about Rathod’s alleged involvement out. Earlier, Rathod met the CM in the presence of Sena ministers Anil Parab and Aaditya Thackeray.
The resignation comes in the wake of the intensified attacks on the Sena-led government on the issue by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP is likely to further raise the issue and disrupt proceedings in the House from Monday if it considers it to be a token resignation ahead of the budget session.
The BJP has alleged that the deceased woman was in a relationship with Rathod and he should be booked in the case. Several audio clips related to the case have gone viral in the past few days and the BJP claims that one of the persons in an audio clip is Rathod, who has been insisting on his innocence.
Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil told TV channels that this is a “small beginning” in the suicide case of the 23-year-old woman. "Ideally Thackeray should have taken the resignation much earlier but we are happy that he has taken the minister’s resignation due to pressure from the people," he told TV channels.