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Maharashtra forest minister and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rathod quits

Sanjay Rathod's name had surfaced in the death of 22-year-old Pooja Chavan who allegedly killed herself by jumping off a building in Pune.

February 28, 2021 / 06:57 PM IST
File image of Sanjay Rathod (Image: Twitter/Sanjay Rathod)

File image of Sanjay Rathod (Image: Twitter/Sanjay Rathod)

Maharashtra forest minister Sanjay Rathod tendered his resignation on February 28 amid a row over the senior Shiv Sena leader's alleged links to a woman who died by suicide in Pune.

The ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi alliance faced criticism after Rathod's name was linked to the case. The opposition BJP had been demanding that Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who is also the Shiv Sena chief, throw him out of the council of ministers.

"I've given my resignation to CM Uddhav Thackeray. The way opposition is warning that they won’t allow Assembly session to function, I've distanced myself from it. I want fair probe in case (of woman's suicide)," news agency ANI quoted Rathod as saying.

The controversy involving Rathod, a four-time MLA from Yavatmal district, erupted earlier this month, after a resident of Parli Vaijanath in Beed district allegedly died by suicide.

The 22-year-old woman succumbed to the injuries she sustained after falling from the balcony of a flat in Pune's Hadaspur area on February 8. Following her death, audio clips allegedly linking her to Rathod surfaced.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, while reacting to the opposition's demand to sack him, said Thackeray would not take a decision under pressure. "To keep anyone in the cabinet or not is the CM's prerogative," Raut, who is also the party's chief spokesperson, said.

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