FIR against Maha BJP chief over controversial ‘Laxmi’ remark

Mumbai: Police in Maharashtra have registered an FIR against state BJP chief Raosaheb Danve for violating the model code of conduct, following his controversial remarks during a municipal election campaign.

“The FIR has been filed under section 171 B of IPC, at the Paithan police station last night,” Aurangabad Rural SP Navinchandra Reddy told PTI.

The FIR was registered in response to a complaint filed by Paithan sub divisional officer K Netke, the IPS officer said.

The State Election Commission had asked Aurangabad District Collector Nidhi Panday to register an FIR against Danve for violating the model code of conduct.

Danve was seen in a video clip, telling voters in Paithan to accept ‘Laxmi’ if it came their way before the elections. Laxmi is revered as the goddess of wealth.

In the clip, Danve was seen telling the voters: “Today is December 17 and tomorrow is December 18, the voting day. I know all of you are impatient to go home.

“The eve of the election is important, as suddenly you get darshan of Laxmi. If such Laxmi comes to your door, please welcome it. But, whatever you have decided, stick to your voting decision.”

Earlier, in response to a notice by Netke, Danve had replied that he was quoted out of context.

“I said that the night before the polls is important and suddenly in the night, there will be obeisance of Goddess Laxmi. The public in the meeting were from rural areas and are spiritual and faithful and in case Goddess Laxmi comes, voters must see that the goddess does not return empty handed. The public at large must welcome Goddess Laxmi,” Danve had said, in his clarification.

Danve’s reply was sent to State Election Commissioner J S Saharia, who found his explanation unsatisfactory.

Congress and NCP had asked Saharia to register a criminal offence against Danve.