Sena minister Sanjay Rathod at Pohradevi temple. (HT FILE)
Sena minister Sanjay Rathod at Pohradevi temple. (HT FILE)

Will take action based on probe report, says Shiv Sena on allegations against Sanjay Rathod

Amid mounting pressure to take action against Shiv Sena minister Sanjay Rathod, the party has adopted a wait-and-watch stance. Sena ministers said that allegations of flouting Covid rules are being probed and action can only be taken after the report is submitted.
By Swapnil Rawal, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:54 PM IST

Amid mounting pressure to take action against Shiv Sena minister Sanjay Rathod, the party has adopted a wait-and-watch stance. Sena ministers said that allegations of flouting Covid rules are being probed and action can only be taken after the report is submitted.

A day after Rathod briefly met chief minister (CM) Uddhav Thackeray at his official residence Varsha, senior party leaders said that action against the minister is likely for flouting Covid preventive rules.

Senior Sena minister Anil Parab on Thursday said the director general of police (DGP) is inquiring into the crowding at Pohradevi in Washim on Tuesday, and added that there would be no half measures in taking action against the ones found guilty.

Parab said the CM has already given orders to take action wherever rules have been flouted and against anyone who has flouted them. “Today the DGP has said that inquiry is on in this matter. Based on the report, action will be taken… The inquiry is to find out who were there [at Pohradevi]. Before arriving at any conclusion, an inquiry is being made in detail. The CM has already said that action will be taken against whoever is found guilty,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has launched an attack on the Sena-led government over Rathod’s alleged involvement in the death of 22-year-old Pooja Chavan. BJP leaders questioned as to why the minister has not been booked for violating Covid norms for organising a show of strength at Pohradevi temple in Washim.

BJP legislator Ashish Shelar said, “Why has the minister not been booked yet based on the pictures we saw in Pohradevi temple complex? The police failed to prevent crowding there. Who organised the programme? The minister made a speech there. The messages through social medial [platforms] were sent out on the minister’s behalf. So why is he not booked yet? The intention of the Thackeray government is clearly to support the minister. They do not care about the people who fall prey to Covid-19.”

Parab, however, dismissed the opposition’s charges and added that action would be taken only after the inquiry is conducted. “Apart from looking at what the Opposition is saying, we have to see how the law works. We believe in following the process. Once the process of inquiry is over, only then action can be initiated. There will be no half measures in taking any action nor will there be any wrongful action,” Parab said.

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