Maharashtra minister denies rape accusations, links them to “relationship”

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Dhananjay Munde, 45, said he has had a relationship with the woman’s sister since 2003

Bombay:

Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde has denied allegations of rape by a woman, saying he has had a relationship with his sister for years. The allegations led him to a controversy with the opposition BJP calling for his resignation.

In a Facebook post, Dhananjay Munde, the minister of state for social justice, said he was being blackmailed by the rape accuser and his sister. He said he also filed a complaint with the police in November.

Mr Munde, 45, said he had had a relationship with the woman’s sister since 2003 and had two children with her. The relationship was also accepted by his family, the leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said. “This matter was known to my family, wife and friends. In this mutual relationship, we were lucky to have a son and a daughter. My family, wife and children also took these children as family and approved them, “he wrote, adding,” This whole business was created for blackmail, forgery and libel, so don’t believe such accusations (sic) “.

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After the minister acknowledged his relationship with the woman on Facebook, the BJP’s women’s wing wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and demanded his dismissal.

The 37-year-old woman, an aspiring singer, said she wrote to the Mumbai Police Commissioner on January 10, alleging that Mr. Munde raped her repeatedly in 2006. In a tweet tagging top NCP leaders, including Sharad Pawar, she claimed she approached the police earlier but her complaint was not accepted. She also sought help from former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, alleging her life was in danger.

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Mr Munde said the woman’s allegations were part of a plot against him. The alleged blackmail, he claimed, began in 2019 and he had since not only gone to the police, but also asked the Bombay High Court to suspend any defamatory material against him.

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Maharashtra BJP main leader Kirit Somaiya said Mr. Munde “must remain out of the Maharashtra Cabinet until he is purified (sic)”.

Mr. Munde is the nephew of the top BJP leader and former union minister Gopinath Munde, who died in a road accident in 2014. He left the BJP in 2013 and joined the NCP following an intense rivalry with his cousin Pankaja Munde, daughter of Gopinath Munde.

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