Sambhaji Bhide booked for remarks on Gandhiji; Maharashtra Cong chief seeks his arrest, threatens agitation

07:46 PM Jul 29, 2023 | PTI |

Amravati: The police in Maharashtra’s Amravati district on Saturday registered a case against Sambhaji Bhide for his alleged derogatory remarks on Mahatma Gandhi, with state Congress chief Nana Patole insisting the right-wing activist must be arrested.


Patole said his party would agitate across the state after the end of the Monsoon session of the Assembly on August 4 if Bhide is not put behind bars.

Bhide, the founder of Shri Shiv Pratishthan Hindustan outfit, is accused of making offensive remarks about the Father of the Nation in his speech during a programme at Bharat Mangal Hall in Badnera Road area in Amravati district on Thursday.

The Rajapeth police in Amravati booked Bhide under Indian Penal Code section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), an official said.

“If the state government does not arrest Bhide, the Congress will organise protests across Maharashtra after the Monsoon session of the Assembly ends on August 4,” Patole said.


The relationship between Bhide and the Bharatiya Janata Party-Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is well-known and he is getting protection from them, Patole alleged.

Patole also claimed Bhide is involved in the Koregaon Bhima caste violence case but continued to remain free. Violence took place in Koregaon Bhima area of Pune on January 1, 2018 near a war memorial revered by Dalits.

Meanwhile, Congress workers led by party MLA Yashomati Thakur and former minister Sunil Deshmukh protested at Rajkamal Square in Amravati city on Saturday. Thakur demanded that the sedition charge be also invoked against Bhide.

Workers of Congress and a few Ambedkarite organisations staged protests in Yavatmal city and tore banners of Bhide, who was there to deliver a lecture and take part in other programmes. During these protests, Bhide’s effigy was hit with slippers and burnt.

On Friday, Congress state secretary Nandkishore Kuyate had filed a complaint against Bhide at Rajapeth police station here, demanding that a case be registered against him.

Maharashtra Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Balasaheb Thorat and Prithviraj Chavan, speaking in the Assembly on Friday, had demanded strict action against Bhide.

“Sambhaji Bhide has a twisted mindset. His comments about the Father of the Nation have disturbed the country. He repeatedly makes controversial comments and it needs to be found out who is backing him for political interests. We want strict action against him,” said Thorat.

Without taking names, he claimed a machinery was working to finish off progressive ideology.

Thorat’s colleague and former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had said, “If such a person is making a defamatory statement regarding Mahatma Gandhi, then he has no right to roam (freely) in the state.”

In the past too, Bhide has drawn flak for his controversial comments.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.