Hours after Republic TV broke news of the Congress deciding to field a person who has shared the dais with the Sanatan Sanstha and has also spoken out vociferously claiming the innocence of a key accused in the Nalasopara arms haul case, the Rahul Gandhi-led party's Maharashtra chief - former state Chief Minister Ashok Chavan - has sought a party probe into Navinchandra Bandivadekar's links with the Sanatan Sanstha.
Taking to Twitter, Chavan has posted the following:
This translates to:
'The Congress aspirant to the Sindhudurg Lok Sabha seat in Ratnagiri having links to the Sanatan Sanstha has been highlighted in the media. The Congress is against the ideology of the Sanatan Sanstha. A probe will be conducted and a decision on his candidature will be taken.'
Meanwhile, further complicating matters for the Congress, its Maharashtra ally NCP has demanded that the Congress candidate be changed, calling the ticket unacceptable:
Earlier on Thursday, Republic TV had broken news of Congress giving a ticket to Bandivadekar. In the candidate list for Maharashtra for the Lok Sabha elections accessed by Republic, Bandivadekar's name is mentioned:
Republic TV spoke to Bandivadekar who confirmed that he will be contesting from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat in Maharashtra from Congress ticket and also that he supported the accused in the Nalasopara arms haul case Vaibhav Raut as he belongs to his community.
"Yes, it has been officially declared. But I will not support those accused in the arms haul case if still they are held guilty," he said.
He spoke about having supported Vaibhav Raut who was involved in the Nalasopara arms hauls case.
"I only supported Vaibhav Raut as he is from my community and I am the president of the community. If he is found guilty let the courts follow the process. I had only supported the individual as he was working for the community, not the organisation," he said.
Congress has been vocal in its demand in states ruled by the BJP for a ban against the Sanatan Sanstha in Maharashtra and Goa.
In 2018, Congress had tweeted criticising the organisation.
In the same year, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram had also tweeted blaming the BJP for not taking action against the outfit.