Shiv Sena MLA faces heat as Chiplun video goes viral
Bhaskar Jadhav, Shiv Sena’s member of legislative Assembly (MLA) from Guhagar, faced the heat from the Opposition and on social media, after a video, in which he is reportedly seen being rude to a woman trader from Chiplun market, went viral.
The incident allegedly took place during chief minister Uddhav Thackeray’s visit on Sunday. In the video, which is not independently verified by HT, Jadhav is reportedly seen irked after the woman, Swati Bhojane, demands that the salary of MPs and MLAs for two months be diverted to flood-affected people. He asks her to keep quiet and tells her son, Soham, to control his mother. The woman is the niece of former Sena MLA Suryakant Khedekar and her son is the friend of Jadhav’s son Vikrant, who is the district council chairman.
Jadhav, who was in Chiplun on Monday for relief work with volunteers, said, “I do not wish to comment on the incident. The woman was like my daughter and I spoke to her in that manner. Those who are criticising me are nowhere to be seen, while we are here in the service of people.”
Meanwhile, the woman downplayed the incident. “Our TVs and mobiles are off. We don’t know what is being said about him [Bhaskar Jadhav]. I came to know through locals that he is being accused of being disrespectful, but it is not the case. We have known him for many years. During the CM’s visit, I got emotional and he asked my son to take care of me and said they would revisit the area,” she told local TV reporters in Chiplun.
“CM Thackeray has directed us to clean the city and help locals. We have brought volunteers to work with people; local NGOs are also helping out,” Jadhav added.
The opposition slammed Jadhav. Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis said the behaviour by such a senior MLA, who is also a former minister, was uncalled for. “People express their discontent in times of distress. Gagging people who are already under stress is unwarranted. I think his party leadership will take cognisance of it,” he said.
Shiv Sena leader and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut distanced the party from the incident. “I read about the incident in the newspapers, but what can the party say on this? Jadhav will be able to throw light on this. However, everybody needs to exercise restraint during such a disaster,” Raut said.