Esteem so fragile? Union minister slams Pawar, Kejriwal on arrests, witch-hunts

Published on May 16, 2022 07:54 PM IST

Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan's swipe comes after Maharashtra BJP leader Vinayak Ambekar approached the Pune Police on Saturday alleging that some 20 NCP workers attacked him at his office over his social media post against Sharad Pawar.

Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan. (PTI Photo)
Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan. (PTI Photo)
Written by Sharangee Dutta | Edited by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

Union minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Dharmendra Pradhan on Monday slammed leaders of opposition parties for going on an “overdrive against criticism and frivolous social media posts”. Taking to Twitter, he called out Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal over recent arrests and cases filed against those criticising them.

“Champions of free speech today are the real threat to freedom of expression and plurality," one of Pradhan's tweets read.

The Union minister further wrote that starting from the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) to the AAP, and even the Trinamool Congress (TMC), all “political actors” were taking it too far and wondered if the “esteem” of these leaders like Pawar and Kejriwal was so fragile.

“Not an advocate of derogatory comments and posts promoting hate, but the likes of Sharad Pawar and Arvind Kejriwal have taken it too far with slapgates, witch-hunts, arrests and diatribes,” Pradhan wrote in another tweet.

“Classic case of what happens when ego spirals out of control,” the tweet added.

Pradhan's swipe comes two days after Maharashtra BJP leader Vinayak Ambekar approached the Pune Police, claiming that some 20 NCP workers attacked him at his office in the city over his post against Pawar. Ambekar, according to a PTI report, said he was a tax consultant and had written a social media post on Friday for which he was asked to apologise by NCP MP Girish Bapat.

“Today, I got a call from someone who said he wanted some tax advice. This man came to my office with 20 people and slapped me. My spectacles broke. I have submitted a complaint to the police and want a case to be registered,” the Maharashtra BJP leader was quoted as saying.

Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrakant Patil shared a video of the incident on his Twitter handle in which Ambekar could be seen seated at a desk, while having an argument with some men. After a few seconds into the video, one man is seen slapping Ambekar that makes the BJP leader's glasses fall off.

“Maharashtra Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Vinayak Ambekar has been attacked by NCP goons and on behalf of BJP, I strongly condemn this attack. These NCP goons must be dealt with immediately!” Patil wrote on the micro-blogging site.

A non-cognizable (NC) offence was lodged on Sunday based on Ambekar's complaint, an official from Pune's Khada Police station told PTI.

Meanwhile, Marathi actor Ketali Chitale and a student named Nikhil Bhamre were arrested on Saturday for allegedly sharing objectionable posts on Pawar. Chitale has been sent to police custody till May 18.

Recently, Delhi BJP leader Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga made headlines after he was arrested earlier this month for allegedly making provocative comments on Kejriwal. A dramatic face-off, involving cops of three states, ensued after Punjab Police arrested Bagga from his residence in the national capital's Janakpuri.

Bagga was brought back to Delhi, and released but later Punjab Police secured an arrest warrant from a Mohali court. The BJP leader then got protection from arrest till July 5 after the Punjab and Haryana high court stayed his arrest.

The Kejriwal-led AAP recently came to power in Punjab after registering a landslide victory.

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