- Dhananjay Munde said he is in a relationship with the woman's sister
- Opposition BJP has called for Mr Munde's resignation
- He is the state minister for social justice
Maharashtra Minister Dhananjay Munde has denied allegations of rape by a woman, claiming he has been in a relationship with her sister for years. The allegations have landed him in a controversy with the opposition BJP calling for his resignation.
An FIR or First Information Report has yet to be filed on the woman's complaint.
In a Facebook post, Dhananjay Munde, the state minister for social justice, said he was being blackmailed by the rape accuser and her sister. He said that he had also filed a complaint with the police in November.
Mr Munde, 45, said that he had been in a relationship with the woman's sister since 2003 and has two children with her. The relationship was also accepted by his family, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader said. "This matter was known to my family, wife and friends. In this mutual relationship, we were blessed with a son and a daughter. My family, wife and my children have also taken these kids as family and approved," he wrote, adding, "This whole case has been created for blackmailing, false and defamation, so please don't believe such charges (sic)".
After the minister's Facebook admission of his relationship with the woman, the BJP's women's wing wrote to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and demanded his sacking.
The 37-year-old woman, an aspiring singer, said she wrote to the Mumbai police commissioner on January 10, alleging that Mr Munde had repeatedly raped her in 2006. In a tweet tagging top NCP leaders including Sharad Pawar, she claimed that she had approached the police earlier but her complaint was not accepted. She also requested help from former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, alleging that her life was under threat.
Mr Munde said the woman's allegations were part of a conspiracy against him. The alleged blackmail, he claimed, started in 2019 and he had since not just gone to the police but had also requested the Bombay High Court to put on hold any defamatory content against him.
Senior Maharashtra BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said Mr Munde "must stay out from Maharashtra Cabinet till He gets Clean (sic)".
Mr Munde is the nephew of senior BJP leader and former union minister Gopinath Munde, who died in a road accident in 2014. He quit the BJP in 2013 and joined the NCP over an intense rivalry with cousin Pankaja Munde, Gopinath Munde's daughter.