Maharashtra Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod Sunday submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, days after his name figured in the death case of a 23-year-old woman. The opposition BJP has demanded that Rathod be sacked and the police probe his link to the case.
Pooja Chavan had died after falling from a building on February 8, and the opposition BJP has been linking Rathod to it, though the MLA from Digras in Yavatmal has denied all the allegations.
Uddhav Thackeray, in a press conference late Sunday, said that he has accepted Rathod's resignation and will himself handle the portfolio of the Forest department.
The BJP had warned that it would not allow the Budget session of the state legislature, which will start from March 1, to proceed smoothly if the minister did not resign. "We are not going to accept anything other than Rathod's resignation. We have intensified our agitation and various cells of the party will continue protesting until we get his resignation," state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil had told reporters. He also sought to know why NCP chief Sharad Pawar whose party is part of the Shiv Sena-led coalition government in Maharashtra, was silent on the issue.
Meanwhile, the police are probing the case on the directives of the chief minister. The Pune Police said they were probing the suicide angle. Some audio clips purportedly having bearing on the case had gone viral after her death.