Retired Navy officer Madan Sharma, who was attacked by Shiv Sena workers last week, on Tuesday said that he has joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and will stop “gundagardi [hooliganism]” in Maharashtra, India Today reported.
“From now on, I am with the BJP-RSS,” Sharma said according to NDTV. “When I was beaten up, they had levelled allegations that I am with the BJP-RSS. So now I announce, that I am with the BJP-RSS.”
Sharma met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari earlier in the day and demanded that President’s Rule be imposed in the state. “I told him about the incident, and said the charges against those accused of assaulting me are not appropriate,” Sharma said. “I got an assurance that proper action will be taken against them. I also said that government should be dissolved and Maharashtra should be placed under President’s Rule.” Sharma said Koshyari assured him that he would talk to the Centre about his demand.
Shiv Sena leader Kamlesh Kadam and five other accused were released on bail on September 12, a day after Sharma was attacked near his home in Kandivali East in Mumbai, for circulating a WhatsApp cartoon mocking Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
“We don’t know how the photo reached the Shiv Sena,” Dr Sheela Sharma, Madan Sharma’s daughter, told NDTV on September 12. “We want strict action. The accused shouldn’t have got bail in this way. Police personnel had come to our house and spoke of a probe against us. I oppose this bail.”
Shiv Sena mouthpiece Saamana had backed the workers who attacked Madan Sharma. In an editorial on Monday, the newspaper asked whether Madan Sharma had not been taught in the Navy to respect a person holding a constitutional post.
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis along with Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had condemned the attack on Madan Sharma. Fadnavis also expressed consternation that the accused had got bail “within 10 minutes”.