Don't record: Did Maharashtra minister get rude reply deleted?

When a student complained to Vinod Tawde about higher education getting expensive, minister said: start working

By Arnab Ganguly in Mumbai
  • Published 6.01.19, 2:44 AM
  • Updated 6.01.19, 3:17 AM
  • a min read
  •  
BJP leader and Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde has been accused of prompting the deletion of footage recorded by a student showing an alleged rude retort by the minister. Telegraph file picture

As elections approach, unpalatable questions are touching a raw nerve.

BJP leader and Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde has been accused of prompting the deletion of footage recorded by a student showing an alleged rude retort by the minister.

On Friday, the minister was the chief guest at an event at the Shri Shivaji Arts and Commerce College in Amravati, 682km from here.

While Tawde was leaving the venue around 11.30am, a student complained of higher education getting expensive.

“The minister replied that if they could not afford higher education, they should start working. Another student was recording the exchange on his mobile, which the minister objected to,” said a reporter from a Marathi daily who was there.

“The minister asked security personnel to detain him. He was taken to a police van.”

The video clip was deleted but the student was allowed to leave as other students had surrounded the van.

Minister Tawde told The Telegraph on Saturday: “I did not ask the police to arrest anyone. I was at the college for two-and-a-half hours. The students were asking many questions. One of them started recording on the phone. I told the students we must talk inside. A policeman took aside one of the boys who was recording. I don’t know anything else.”

On whether he had asked the students to get jobs if they couldn’t afford education, Tawde said: “I don’t remember any specific question.”

The Shiv Sena, the ally that rarely misses a chance to torment the BJP, has waded in.

“The education minister of Maharashtra directs cops to arrest student. Why? Because he was shooting an interaction. No tough questions, please. They want youth only to man their electoral booths,” tweeted Sena youth wing president Aaditya Thackeray.