MUMBAI: City Mayor Vishwanath Mahadeshwar has found himself in a tight spot after a video clip showed him purportedly manhandling a woman who was part of a group of people protesting against electrocution deaths in Santacruz.
The incident has triggered demands for booking the Mumbai's First Citizen on the charge of molestation.
Mahadeshwar on Tuesday denied that he manhandled anybody and rather blamed MNS workers for the incident.
In the video, the mayor, who belongs to the Shiv Sena, can be seen being heckled by some locals in Santacruz who were upset over water-logging caused by heavy rains on August 4.
The locals were angry over the death of a woman and her son due to electrocution at their house on Sunday. In the clip, a woman can be heard questioning Mahadeshwar why he or any other public representative was not around when the people required their help. To which, Mahadeshwar told them he had visited the hospital.
As another woman asked him something, a visibly angry mayor is seen twisting her hand and saying in Marathi, "Don't try to be smart with me; you don't know who I am".
Expressing anguish, state unit Congress working president Yashomati Thakur demanded a case of molestation be registered against the mayor. She termed the incident as "arrogance of power".
"Mahadeshwar threatening a woman has evoked anger. It shows the power has made him arrogant. A case of molestation should be registered against him," she said.
It remains to be seen what action Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray takes against Mahadeshwar, she added.
Thakur also accused the Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation of being indifferent towards the people affected by rains and water-logging.
Meanwhile, Mahadeshwar said some workers of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had deliberately tried to stop him from visiting the place.
"The women MNS workers tried to block our way with their hands. 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," he added.