KOLHAPUR: Senior CPI leader Govind Pansare, who led a campaign against road toll tax, and his wife were today shot at by motorcycle-borne assailants near their house here, prompting widespread condemnation of the incident.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and NCP chief Sharad Pawar were among the first to condemn the attack on Pansar, who was at the forefront of a recent anti-toll agitation in Kolhapur.
The assailants fired at Pansare and his wife this morning outside the Ideal Housing Society here, when the couple was returning after their daily morning walk from Shivaji University.
While Pansare was hit by bullets on the nape of his neck and another brushing his hand, his wife Sau Uma Pansare suffered a single bullet injury, Kolhapur Superintendent of Police, Omprakash Sharma told PTI.
They were rushed to Aster Aadhar Hospital here.
Pansare is said to be in a critical condition while his wife is out of danger, police said.
Condemning the incident, Pawar said, "This attack is a matter of concern for a progressive state like Maharashtra."
Fadnavis said ten police teams have been formed to nab the culprits.
NCP Lok Sabha member Supriya Sule said the government must take strong action to stop such "cowardly acts."
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray spoke to the Chief Minister, demanding that the assailants be nabbed.
Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil sought dismissal of the state police chief, saying he was not competent enough to tackle the law and order situation.
"The state needs a full time Home minister," he said. The portfolio is held by Fadnavis.
Later, Minister of State for Home Ram Shinde left for Kolhapur to take stock of the incident.