Mumbai, (The Hindu): In just one week, four MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from different parts of the State have faced police complaints, with accusations ranging from making obscene remarks against a woman to demanding a bribe.
The latest of these incidents was on Sunday, with the Juhu police receiving a complaint against MLA Ameet Satam for allegedly abusing and kicking hawkers. A video of Mr. Satam, where he is seen yelling at a police officer and attacking the hawkers, is being circulated on social media.
Sunil Ghosalkar, senior police inspector of the Juhu police station, told The Hindu that the police have received a complaint from the hawkers. “We will call the complainants for their statement on Monday. After recording their statement, further action will be taken,” he said.
Mr. Satam has not denied the accusation entirely. “Yes, I did abuse them. But it was out of sheer frustration, since a few days ago, I saw six people charred to death in my constituency in a blast of illegal cylinders,” he said. The MLA said he had asked hawkers and police officers to remove illegal cylinders kept on the footpath, and that his demand was in line with the Bombay High Court’s order.
“I am being blamed by those who protect these unauthorised hawkers,” Mr. Satam said.
Three other BJP leaders found themselves embroiled in controversy earlier this week.
On Thursday, an FIR was registered against MLA and former minister Eknath Khadse for allegedly making obscene remarks against activist Anjali Damania in a speech in Jalgaon. Ms. Damania had camped out at Vakola police station for 28 hours demanding that the FIR be filed. Mr. Khadse has denied making obscene remarks towards Ms. Damania.
In Vidarbha’s Arni constituency, meanwhile, MLA Raju Todsam faces a complaint from road contractor Shivdutt Sharma for allegedly seeking ?20 lakh as kickbacks for the road construction work Mr. Sharma has done.
An audio clip, in which Mr. Todsam can be heard making the demand and even challenging the contractor to approach Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, is making the rounds on social media. No FIR has been registered against the MLA yet. Mr. Todsam has termed the allegations a conspiracy against him. Mr. Sharma’s phone could not be reached.
On Friday, Mallikarjun Reddy, the BJP MLA from Ramtek in Vidarbha, faced accusations of using foul language with a group of women who met him in his office. According to the complaint, the women had sought the MLA’s intervention in a case of financial misconduct by a microfinance company. While the women have filed a complaint against Mr. Reddy, his office has filed a complaint against them for creating a ruckus in the MLA’s office.
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