Days after a 37-year old woman alleged that Maharashtra Social Justice Minister Dhananjay Munde raped her multiple times in 2006, Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Thursday said that the accusations were serious, and that a decision would be taken after a meeting of the party, The Indian Express reported.

“The allegations made are serious and naturally we as a party have to take a decision,” Pawar said. “I will soon have a discussion with party leaders. Munde had met me and has told me his side. It is my responsibility to make my party leaders aware about what he told me and then formulate our party’s next course of action.”

Pawar said that Munde had informed him about having a relationship with the woman, who has levelled the charges. “A complaint was lodged against him and an inquiry into it has hopefully commenced,” the NCP chief said, according to The Indian Express. “He seems to have an idea that these allegations would be made and he had previously approached the High Court with regards to this matter.”

On January 10, the woman wrote to the Mumbai police commissioner, accusing the NCP leader of repeatedly raping her in 2006. In the letter, the woman claimed that Munde visited her house in 2006, and alleged that he raped her repeatedly and shot a video as well. The woman said that the minister maintained a physical relationship with her, and promised to provide her with contacts in the film industry.

On January 11, the woman tweeted an image of the letter, tagging top leaders, including Pawar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, and said that her complaint was not being registered at the Oshiwara police station in Mumbai.

However, in a social media post, Munde denied the allegations, reported NDTV. He said the matter was known to his family, wife and friends, who approved of the relationship. “This whole case has been created for blackmailing, false and defamation, so please don’t believe such charges,” he wrote.

The NCP leader also said that he was allegedly being blackmailed by the woman and her sister since 2019, and that he had also filed a complaint with the police in November last year, NDTV reported.