Shiv Sena targets ally BJP for admitting criminals in its fold

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Shiv Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe on  accused ally BJP of having admitted people with criminal background in the party during the 2014 Assembly elections, and raked up the issue of a sexual harassment complaint by a woman BJP worker.

She demanded that the National Commission for Women and the Bombay High Court take suo-moto notice of the six months’ delay by the State Commission for Women, in taking action against the complaint filed by the woman BJP worker against Mumbai BJP Yuva Morcha chief Ganesh Pandey.

Speaking to reporters here, Gorhe claimed that the woman withdrew her complaint as she was tired of visiting the SWC office time and again.

It is unclear whether she was pressurised into withdrawing the complaint as Pandey is close to Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar, or whether she had forgiven Pandey after the latter tendered an apology, Gorhe said.

If the case had been withdrawn after apology, it would embolden the accused in similar cases to repeat the offence, she said.

Gorhe alleged that the complainant had even named a BJP minister of state in the incident. She said the FIR in the case had not been withdrawn.

“The court has gone ahead with the hearing of the case even when the woman in question has not come forward (to depose),” she said, adding that if the woman approached Shiv Sena, the party could move court over the issue.

Hitting out at its ally BJP, Gorhe said the saffron party welcomed people with criminal background ahead of 2014 Assembly polls, and “after their utility ended, they were again put behind bars”.

“In the elections to Kolhapur municipal corporation, jailed convicts were given parole….In some cases their family members were given tickets,” she added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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