Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday addressed a large meeting in Pandharpur in Solapur district of Maharashtra ahead of an assembly by- poll there, with the opposition BJP alleging that COVID-19 norms were flouted during it. Pawar addressed the indoor gathering while campaigning for Bhagirath Bhalke, who has been fielded by the NCP in the bypolls to the Pandharpur-Mangalvedha assembly constituency.
BJP’s state unit president Chandrakant Patil criticised Pawar and dared Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to take action against him for the alleged violation of norms. “Pawar saheb (NCP chief Sharad Pawar) through Facebook live, appealed people to cooperated (in the fight against COVID-19). We are also cooperating. Now take action against Ajit Pawar. Can CM take action?” asked Patil.
When contacted, additional superintendent of police Atul Zendesaid that the officials of the Election Commission have taken cognizance of the alleged violation. Gajanan Gurav, sub-divisional officer and returning officer for the by-poll, said that thefootages of the meeting will be verified and if there are violations, an offence will be registered.
While addressing the gathering, someone in the audience passed a chit to Pawar, asking him to remove the mask while speaking but Pawar rebuked him. “Someone is asking me to remove the mask and speak as speech is unclear due to mask. But I will not remove it because i have been telling people to wear mask…and this over-smart person is asking me to remove the mask,” Pawar said while showing the chit during the address.