A day after Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has nothing to do with Shri Shiv Pratishthan founder Manohar alias Sambhaji Bhide, state minister Chhagan Bhujbal, from Ajit Pawar–led NCP on Monday, said that Bhide should be jailed for his derogatory statements against Mahatma Gandhi and his mother, and for questioning his lineage.
“Bhide should be arrested. Any attempt to cause a stir in Maharashtra or the country should be stopped and nobody should protect him,” said Bhujbal. He was speaking to reporters in his hometown Nasik.
On Monday, the Ajit Pawar group held a silent protest in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near Mantralaya demanding Bhide’s arrest. “We condemn any attempt to defame the Father of the Nation. Such attempts should not be tolerated and strict action must be taken,” said Sanjay Tatkare, spokesperson of NCP led by Ajit Pawar.
Chairperson of the State Women’s Commission, Rupali Chakankar, on Monday wrote to the State Home Minister Devendra Fadnavis seeking action against Bhide. “Manohar Bhide has been repeatedly making statements against national idols.
The state has been expressing anger over such statements. His words are promoting enmity between communities and may disturb law and order in the state,” said Chakankar, who has joined the Ajit Pawar group.
Chakankar in her letter said that Bhide finds a loophole everytime action is initiated against him and is thus spared. “India is known as the country of Mahatma Gandhi across the world. The state must demonstrate that it cannot tolerate an insult to Mahatma Gandhi and Mahatma Phule. Action must be taken against Bhide,” she said.