Mumbai Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar triggered a controversy after a viral video on Tuesday showed him manhandling a woman during a meeting with residents of the suburb of Santacruz. The residents had organised a protest against electrocution deaths in the area, PTI reported.
The incident took place on Monday, ABP News reported. The video showed a woman arguing with Mahadeshwar, following which he grabbed her hand, twisted it and attempted to hold on.
However, Mahadeshwar, who is a Shiv Sena leader, on Tuesday denied molesting the woman. Instead, he blamed workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena for the incident. “The women MNS workers tried to block our way with their hand,” he said. “Our workers turned their hands away and we left. We didn’t molest anyone, twist anybody’s hand or commit any wrong. There are people who deliberately make such allegations....I just asked them not to act smart.”
The video shows Mahadeshwar grabbing a woman’s hand. He then says, “Don’t act smart. You don’t know who I am.” Other women are heard telling the mayor not to twist the woman’s hand.
The residents had been protesting against the death of a woman and her son due to electrocution at their house on Sunday. They were upset about water-logging caused by heavy rains on that day.
Congress corporator Sheetal Mhatre told ABP News that she had never seen such arrogance from a mayor in 15 years of her political career. “This behaviour does not suit the Mumbai mayor’s post,” she said. “A case of molestation should be filed against him.”