Maharashtra Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod on Sunday, 28 February, resigned from the state cabinet after his name was allegedly linked to the death of Pooja Chavan, an aspiring model and TikTok star.
While criticizing the Opposition parties, Rathod said that he has been defamed through means of social media in order to destroy his career.
“In the last few days, the opposition played dirty politics over the death of a 22-year-old woman of our community. The opposition defamed me and my community through media and social media,”, he was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
While speaking to reporters outside the CM’s official residence, Rathod asked for an impartial probe to be conducted and said that the truth will come out.
“It was done to destroy my political career. So, I want an out. So, I have tendered my resignation to CM,” he added.
On 27 February, Shiv Sena MP and chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut told reporters that the CM was well aware of the situation and was closely monitoring it. He had also indicated that the minister would resign soon.
Maharashtra Congress leader Balasaheb Thorat had said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi government will not support any wrongdoing. “If something is wrong, it is wrong, the government will take appropriate action in the matter,” he was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.
Rathod, who submitted his resignation to CM Uddhav Thackeray said that he has distanced himself from the matter after opposition warned that they won’t allow Assembly session to function.
Pooja Chavan had died after falling from a building on 8 February, and Pune Police is probing whether she died by suicide. The BJP had earlier accused Rathod of having links with the woman after his purported photographs, audio and video clips with her went viral on social media.
(With inputs from The Indian Express)
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