‘Ruling party misusing power against Congress’

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 27 September 2018

Cong corporator’s arrest during immersion procession irks party leaders; BJP denies allegations

Pune: The Congress on Tuesday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of misusing power to damage the image of the Congress party by arresting senior Congress corporator Avinash Bagwe on the charge of desecration of an idol of god. The party held District Guardian Minister Girish Bapat and State Minister for Social Justice Dilip Kamble responsible for his arrest.

However, the BJP’s city unit on Wednesday denied the allegations made by the Congress. It issued a press release in this regard.

Avinash Bagwe was arrested on the charge of desecration on Monday and was released on bail on Tuesday. He is the son of city Congress unit chief Ramesh Bagwe, a former minister of state for home.

City Congress leaders held a press conference in this regard and criticised the ruling BJP. Former legislators Mohan Joshi, Sharad Ranpise, Ramesh Bagwe, leader of Congress in PMC Arvind Shinde were present at the media briefing. 

Ramesh Bagwe said, “The police are working under pressure from the BJP, which is deliberately trying to damage the image of Congress. Avinash was arrested as a part of that strategy. Local BJP corporator Archana Patil’s husband Tushar had filed a complaint against Avinash with the police. On the contrary, the police did not take cognisance of a letter submitted by local residents to the police against Tushar Patil on the eve of the immersion procession. It clearly showed that BJP ministers Girish Bapat, Dilip Kamble are misusing the police against the Congress.”

Shinde said, “It is a conspiracy of the BJP against the Congress corporator. They are using religion and caste as a tool to create a rift between communities. 

However, we will not allow that to happen.” Joshi said, “We have evidence against Tushar Patil, who himself was making provocative speeches during the procession. But the police did not file a complaint against him.” Denying the allegations made by the city Congress leaders, BJP city unit chief Yogesh Gogawale released a press note on Wednesday. It stated, “The city unit of Congress is politicising the Avinash Bagwe incident. They are trying to cover up serious issues by making such allegations, which are baseless. City unit of BJP is not involved in any way in the complaint filed with the police. The police took action as per the law and without any political pressure. Now, the matter is sub judice. The Congress is putting pressure on the judiciary and the police department. Ramesh Bagwe is making allegations to protect his son.”

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