Nationalist Congress Party leader Dhananjay Munde has kicked up a storm on the eve of polling for the Maharashtra assembly polls by allegedly making obscene comments against his estranged cousin and state minister Pankaja Munde of the Bharatiya Janata Party at a rally, resulting in an FIR against him.
Both the cousins are locked in a fierce battle in Parli assembly segment in Beed district. Pankaja, daughter of late BJP veteran Gopinath Munde, had defeated Dhananjay Munde in the 2014 assembly elections.
On Sunday, Maharashtra State Commission for Woman also took suo motu cognisance of remarks made by Dhananjay Munde, the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Council.
MSCW chairperson Vijaya Rahatkar told reporters in Aurangabad that action will be taken against the NCP leader.
Under flak, Munde said the video clip, in which he was purportedly heard making the comments against Pankaja, was edited and fake. He claimed that his remarks were "distorted" to project him as a "villain" by his rivals to win elections.
With the video of Munde going viral on social media, a BJP functionary from Parli in Beed district filed a police complaint against him on Saturday, a police official said.
"Acting on the complaint filed by Parli BJP president Jugal Kishor Lohiya, the FIR was lodged late Saturday night against Dhananjay Munde under Indian Penal Code Sections 500 (defamation), 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult modesty of a woman) and 294 (obscene act in public place)," Parli police station in-charge Purushottam Chobe said.
Lohiya in his complaint said the NCP leader allegedly made the obscene remarks against the BJP minister at a public meeting held at Vida village in Kej tehsil on October 17.
The BJP has also complained to the Election Commission and the women's commission against the NCP leader's remarks.
Some BJP workers also burnt his effigy at Shirur-Kasar tehsil on Saturday night.
MSCW chairperson Rahatkar said, "We have not received any complaint but the remarks of Dhananjay Munde prime facie seem objectionable. We will enquire and take action against him."
However, Dhananjay Munde said the clip was being circulated on social media by "distorting" his comments to "deliberately" defame him and project him as a "villain".
"My speech at Vida has been tampered with. This is clearly an attempt (by rivals) to make me a villain and win the elections," he said at a press conference on Sunday.
"I have succeeded in politics on my own. I sacrificed Parli constituency for Pankaja Munde (apparently referring to 2009 when Gopinath Munde fielded his daughter)," he said.
The NCP leader pointed out that he spoke at Vida last Thursday and the clip went viral on Saturday.
"The complainant has not submitted any CD of my speech and neither the police verified it. We also tried to complain over this controversy, but the police didn't entertain it. But my speech in Vida is tampered and people who recently entered the BJP have made this attempt," he alleged.
"I have not taken the name of my sister, I have never used words which will hamper the brother-sister relationship. This is an attempt to finish my political career. Our family has more number of female members... I will never make such comments which are below the dignity of women," he asserted.
Earlier in a statement on Facebook late Saturday night, he demanded that the authenticity of the "edited" clip be tested in a forensic laboratory.
Those who have "edited" the clip should at least respect the holy relationship of brother and sister, the leader of opposition in the state Legislative Council said.
The NCP leader said he is contesting the election only on the issue of development, and asked his detractors not to stoop low by giving an emotional twist to it.
"It is an edited clip, distorts my statement and deliberately defames me. The clip is completely fake and its authenticity must be tested in forensic lab."
He alleged that an emotional twist was being given to the election in the constituency as he has been receiving huge response from the people, causing fear of defeat in the minds of his rivals.
He also said he did not use bad words about any of his rivals, despite him being labelled as "monster".
"I did principle-based politics yesterday and doing it today. I have done 'kanyadaan' of my 1,500 sisters (girls). I will never use wrong words about any woman. Hence, workers and citizens should not believe in rumours," he added.
Pankaja Munde was not available for comment.