In a bizarre directive, a Maharashtra minister on Friday evening exhorted his supporters to "break" traffic or road safety norms to collect huge crowds for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's upcoming election rally in the district.
Addressing a meeting in Sakoli ahead of the PM's rally here on Sunday, Minister of State Parinay Fuke - who holds a PhD. - aggressively told the gathering "not to worry" if they came triple-triple on two-wheelers.
"If the police stop you, simply give them my name, tell them that you are my man and also say the vehicle belongs to me... If they still catch you for riding triple-seat or even five-seat, I will get you out.. You rest assured," Fuke thundered, as his supporters roared their approval.
Fuke, a Member of Legislative Council, who is now a BJP candidate from Sakoli, asked them to ensure that crowds are collected for Modi's election rally, even if needed violating traffic norms.
As Fuke's comments went viral on social media, Shiv Sena leader and farmer activist Kishore Tiwari said "this is very serious and the minister must be sacked for making such blatant statements".
"We urged the Chief Electoral Officer of Maharashtra to ensure that laws are not flouted by the Minister Fuke's open call to his people to break the laws for collecting crowds for an election rally," Tiwari said.
On his first day in Maharashtra, Modi will campaign in Jalgaon and then travel to Sakoli (Bhandara) to address a rally for the MoS.
Incidentally, the 38-year old Fuke is a close confidante of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and also Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari who is passionate about implementing the new Motor Vehicles Act all over the country.
However, to the embarrassment of the BJP in Maharashtra, Transport Minister Diwakar Raote, of ruling ally Shiv Sena, put a spanner in the implementation by staying the new MVA in the state till after the Octover 21 assembly elections.