Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar on Thursday dismissed the opposition's claims that state forest minister Sanjay Rathod, whose name is being linked to the death of 22 year old Pooja Chava in Pune, has been missing.
Talking to reporters, Mr Pawar said he spoke to Mr Rathod, who is also the guardian minister of Yavatmal, on Thursday about the COVID-19 situation in the district located in the state's Vidarbha region.
The deceased Chavan (22) - hailed from Beed district and had just come to Pune to attend an English-speaking course. She was living along with two youth, said to be her brother and his friend. On February 8, she allegedly committed suicide by jumping off a building named Heaven Park in the Wanawadi area of the city, sparking off a controversy.
MVA minister Sanjay Rathod's name has been allegedly linked to the girl. Ex-Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadavnis demanded that the death of Pooja Chavan should be investigated as the alleged phone conversation between Pooja and Sanjay Rathod became viral. She was 22 and pregnant with the illegitimate child of this Minister and hence committed suicide. On Wednesday, former state power minister and BJP leader Chandrashekhar Bawankule alleged that the person under scanner is state forest minister Sanjay Rathod "who is still missing and nobody in the state government knows his whereabouts".
When asked about such claims on Thursday, Mr Pawar said, "Who said he (Rathod) has disappeared? I spoke to him today itself that we may have to take a decision to impose (stricter) lockdown there (in Yavatmal) as the situation has become serious there."