Talking to The Asian Age, Medha Kulkarni said, “Mr Rane’s act is like a gangster’s.
Mumbai: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Pune Medha Kulkarni has demanded that Congress MLA Nitesh Rane be suspended from the Legislative Assembly, for his ‘involvement’ in the recent vandalisation of Marathi playwright Ram Ganesh Gadkari’s statue in Pune.
She has made this demand in a letter to state Legislative Assembly chairman Haribhau Bagade. Talking to The Asian Age, Ms Kulkarni said, “Mr Rane’s act is like a gangster’s. He has misused his position and money. He must be arrested and suspended from the Legislative Assembly.” In early January, the statue of early 20th century Marathi playwright Gadkari was uprooted from Sambhaji Garden in Pune. This has led to social tension in Pune as well as across the state.
Mr Rane had reportedly claimed that workers of the youth organisation led by him, Swabhiman Sanghatana, uprooted the statue. He had even rewarded the workers with a cheque of Rs 5 lakh. Taking objection to this act, Ms Kulkarni said in her letter that no MLA could indulge in disruptive practices. She also said Mr Rane’s claims about this act itself prove that it was disruptive.
Controversy over Gadkari’s statue erupted after a few Maratha organisations had claimed that the writer had portrayed in a derogatory manner king Sambhaji, son of Shivaji Maharaj, in his play Raj Sanyas. Though Gadkari had not completed this play, a part of it had been interpreted by some as character assassination of Sambhaji. Maratha organisations had been demanding the removal of the statue for a long period. The Pune municipality erected the statue in 1953 when famous Marathi journalist and writer P.K. Atre was leading the civic body.
Mr Rane said the felicitation ceremony, where he was present, was by the community. “She (Ms Kulkarni) is making allegations against me for for political benefits,” Mr Rane told The Asian Age.