Maharashtra social justice minister Dhananjay Munde refutes rape allegation, terms it blackmail

JALNA: Shiv Sena minister in Maharashtra Abdul Sattar has sought to defend his NCP cabinet colleague Dhananjay Munde, accused of rape by a Mumbai-based woman, saying “pyaar kiya to darna kya.

Talking to media persons here on Wednesday, Sattar said Munde has himselfdeclared that he had been in a relationship with the complainants sister and has two children with her.

He (Munde) did not hide anything. ‘pyaar kiya to darna kya’, (why fear if in love)?” the Sena minister said when asked about the charges against Munde and the BJP’s demand for his resignation.

Munde, an NCP leader from Beed district, has denied the rape allegations, claiming he is being blackmailed by the woman and her sister.

Munde (45) said the woman’s claims were part of a conspiracy to blackmail him.

He, however, acknowledged that he was in a relationship with the woman’s sister and has two children with her.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Munde said his wife, family and friends were aware of this relationship, adding the two kids have been accepted by his family.

Sattar said when senior BJP leader late Gopinath Munde faced criticism over his relationship with a woman in late 1990s, Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray had defended the former deputy chief minister, saying pyaar kiya to darna kya.

Asked about the charge that Dhananjay Munde did not disclose personal details in his election affidavit, Sattar said most leaders do so, including those from the BJP.

“I have suchinformation against BJP leaders and will expose them at (appropriate) time,” said the Sena leader.

Sattar accused the BJP of working against the Sena candidate from Jalna in the2019 Assembly polls, leading to his defeat at the hands of the Congress nominee.

The BJP and the Shiv Sena had fought the 2019 state polls together, but parted ways later following differences over power-sharing.

The Shiv Sena then joined hands with the NCP and the Congress to form the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in November 2019.