Union minister Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday wrote a letter to chief minister Devendra Fadnavis demanding that state forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar should be sacked immediately for allowing the killing of tigress Avni. Mr Mungantiwar has replied back at the Union minister saying she is the one who needs to resign. In a strong rebuttal, Mr Mungantiwar said that there are number of children dying due to malnutrition, Ms Gandhi should resign as she failed to take the responsibility for it as a women and child development minister.
“I came to know through media reports that she (Ms Gandhi) has asked for my resignation to Mr Fadnavis. I have already said that the killing order was not issued by me neither by my department. There is an authority, who does that. But there are children dying due to malnutrition in country and she is the child development minister. So, owning the responsibility of this, she should resign first,” said Mr Mungantiwar.
After killing of alleged ‘man-eating’ tigress Avni, Ms Gandhi had raised questions over this through her twitter account. There were also reports that she has written a letter to Mr Fadnavis asking to sack the state forest minister.
“Inclusion or sacking of minister is prerogative of chief minister in state’s case and Prime Minister in case of Union cabinet. I have already cleared that the decision to kill (Avni) was not taken by me. Still, if Ms Gandhi has a doubt then we can definitely order a high level probe into the matter,” reiterated Mr Mungantiwar.
Their battle in public over the killing of tigress has created concern in the minds of BJP’s state leadership as both the ministers, Ms Gandhi and Mr Mungantiwar, are from The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The BJP is the ruling party in Delhi as well as in Mumbai.
Sena’s take on the issue
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena has decided to corner forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar in next cabinet. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has asked his ministers to take aggressive stand in the upcoming cabinet of the state government. He has asked his ministers to raise the matter and also ask for an enquiry.