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RSS Member Accuses BJP Leader of Sexual Exploitation of Women, Served Legal Notice

RSS Member Accuses BJP Leader of Sexual Exploitation of Women, Served Legal Notice

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Manas Dasgupta

NEW DELHI, June 10: In a first, a war has broken out between a BJP office holder and a RSS member over derogatory remarks going to the extent of threatening legal action if failed to issue an unconditional apology within three days.

The notice was issued by the lawyer of the BJP national information and technology department head Amit Malviya against the RSS member Shantanu Sinha who has in a Facebook post levelled allegations against Malviya of indulging in sexual exploitation of women in some five star hotels as well as right in the BJP offices in West Bengal.

Mr Malviya’s lawyer on Monday sought an “unconditional apology” from Mr Sinha for the “extremely offensive” post on Facebook. Mr Malviya, through his advocate, sent a legal notice to Santanu Sinha on June 8 asking to take down the “false and derogatory” post and also tender an unconditional apology. “The nature of allegations are extremely offensive in as much as, they falsely allege sexual misconduct purportedly committed by my client. The same is fatally injurious to the dignity and reputation of my client, who, by virtue of his professional profile, is a public figure. Such malevolently malicious statements have been deliberately made to tarnish his reputation,” the notice read.

Mr Malviya, through the notice, alleged ulterior motives and wrongful intent to malign and tarnish his image. Mr Sinha was asked to issue an apology and remove his post within three days from the date of notice, which ends on Tuesday. Further, it mentioned that Mr Malviya will proceed with legal action against Mr Sinha if he fails to respond to the notice.

“I, the undersigned, therefore call upon you to issue a public apology and take down/remove your defamatory statement(s) given against my client across all public platforms within three (3) days of receipt of this legal notice, failing which my client will be constrained to take appropriate legal action against you Including prosecuting you for civil and criminal defamation at your risk and cost. Further, I call upon you to pay a sum of INR 10 crore as civil damages for the mental harassment, agony and loss of reputation caused to my client that has been caused to my client via your Facebook post dated June 7, 2024,” the notice read.

The fight within the Sangh Parivar was widely publicised by the Congress spokesperson Supirya Shrinate demanding Mr Malviya’s removal from the organisational post for the sake of an impartial investigation into the allegation. “An RSS member, Shantanu Sinha, related to BJP leader Rahul Sinha, has said that the BJP IT Cell head Amit Malviya has indulged in nefarious activities. He indulges in the sexual exploitation of women. Not just in 5-star hotels but in BJP offices in West Bengal. The only thing that we seek from the BJP is, justice for women.” Ms Shrinate said at a press conference on Monday. She said an independent probe into the incident was only possible if Mr Malviya was removed from his position.

“The reality is less than 24 hours after PM Modi was sworn in, serious charges of sexual exploitation have been levelled against a very prominent office bearer of the BJP, the head of its IT cell. Today we seek the immediate removal of Amit Malviya from his position. It’s an extremely influential position. It’s a position of power and there can be no independent inquiry. There can be no independent probe. There cannot be justice unless and until he doesn’t get removed from his position,” the Congress leader said.

Meanwhile, a conflict is also seems to have arisen between the BJP leadership and its allies in Maharashtra which were refused respectable cabinet berths in the Modi 3.0 cabinet despite installing in the office a large 72-member ministry, including the prime minister, in one go with a vast majority of them coming from the BJP ranks and only a handful from the allied parties including the “kingmakers” the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) of Andhra Pradesh and Janata Dal (United) in Bihar.

Of the Maharashtra allies – the Shiv Sena unit led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, who got seven members elected to the Lok Sabha, was given only a junior minister berth, while the Ajit Pawar’s NCP was also given the same offer but was turned down by the party. Maharashtra in totality was given five berths, including four cabinet, all from BJP and one junior minister, albeit with independent charge, from the Shinde camp.

A similar offer made to NCP Rajya Sabha member Praful Patel was refused by him as “demotion.” The argument from the NCP’s side is that Mr Patel, as a former cabinet minister, was too senior a figure to hold a junior minister’s post. On Sunday Ajit Pawar – in Delhi for Mr Modi’s oath-taking – told reporters his party was “ready to wait” for that cabinet berth.

“We have one Lok Sabha and one Rajya Sabha MP ((Sunil Tatkare and Praful Patel). In the coming months, we will have two more Rajya Sabha MPs. Then we will have four MPs and should get a cabinet berth. We are ready to wait but want a cabinet berth,” he said.

Mr Patel was similarly resolute, telling reporters, “I was earlier cabinet minister (in the Congress-led UPA government and being made MoS (Minister of State) is a demotion.” Mr Patel – now a Rajya Sabha MP – was Minister of Heavy Industries from 2011 to 2014. “The BJP told us to wait for a few days… said they will take remedial measures.”

However, both Mr Pawar and Mr Patel – aware of fragile nature of a NDA government led by the BJP that is 30 seats below majority – underlined their support to Mr Modi’s party. Senior BJP leader and ex-Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has said an upgraded post for the NCP will be “considered” when the cabinet was expanded.

The Shinde Sena which earlier had demanded three posts – one in the cabinet and two junior minister berths, is, for now, in a more amicable mood. His party has accepted the offered post but has also said it expected its “share” in the next cabinet expansion.




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