MLA Ravindra Dhangekar Criticizes Excise Department Officials Over Illegal Pubs and Bars

Pune: Congress MLA from Pune, Ravindra Dhangekar, vehemently criticized officials of the Pune excise department in a recent confrontation. Dhangekar, along with Sushma Andhare, had previously staged a protest demanding stringent action against illegal pubs and bars operating in Pune. Their protest included a symbolic act featuring a box with a picture of state excise department minister Shambhuraj Desai, labeled “50 boxes,” and the waving of fake Rs 500 notes. Using this symbolic currency, Dhangekar and Andhare stormed the excise department in Pune, confronting excise commissioner Charan Singh Rajput.

Allegations of Corruption

Dhangekar accused the excise department of allowing illegal bars and pubs to operate unchecked for weeks. Sushma Andhare further intensified the allegations by reading out a list detailing the amounts allegedly extorted from various establishments. In response, Charan Singh Rajput denied these allegations, stating that any claims of such recoveries would be investigated thoroughly.

Dhangekar and Andhare issued an ultimatum, giving the excise department 48 hours to take action against the illegal operations. Andhare threatened drastic measures, including operating bulldozers, if the demands were not met. State Excise Minister Shambhuraj Desai dismissed Dhangekar’s actions as mere theatrics, accusing him of using the minister’s photo to defame him. Assembly Speaker Rahul Narvekar has also filed a complaint against MLA Dhangekar.

Focus on Illegal Bars and Pubs

The recent spotlight on illegal bars and pubs follows a hit-and-run accident in Kalyaninagar, Pune. Dhangekar and Andhare highlighted this incident as part of their campaign, revealing a list of alleged extortion rates from the establishments.

Administrative Response

In the wake of the Kalyaninagar accident, the state excise department has taken significant action. A sweeping crackdown resulted in raids on 49 pubs and bars across the city and district, leading to multiple cases being registered against those involved.

The issue of illegal pubs and bars has gained significant attention following the tragic accident in Pune. The administration has intensified its efforts to curb illegal activities in these establishments over the past few days. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has also staged protests against the burgeoning pub culture in Pune, launching a campaign to express their genuine outrage.

As the controversy unfolds, the focus remains on ensuring that illegal activities within Pune’s nightlife are addressed and that regulatory measures are strictly enforced.

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