Mumbai, Jun 24: Congress workers held a protest this morning outside the residence of Maharashtra Education Minister Vinod Tawde as the party stepped up its attack on him in the educational degree row.
Nearly 300 Congress workers, led by former MLA Ashok Jadhav and office-bearers of the party's Mumbai unit, gathered outside the BJP leader's residence in suburban Vile Parle and raised slogans demanding his resignation in a demonstration that continued for about an hour.
There was heavy security bandobast by local police in the area even as the Congress's city unit president Sanjay Nirupam had yesterday led a 'Tawde hatao' agitation.
Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, had said that Congress would stall Monsoon session proceedings if no action was taken against Tawde. However, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has defended Tawde, calling the controversy a "non-issue".
"There is no question of any action against him (Tawde). He has never hidden any facts," Fadnavis said yesterday. After a news channel reported that Tawde's BE electronics degree was 'bogus', Tawde on Monday clarified that he was a student of Pune's Dnyaneshwar Vidyapeeth between 1980 to 1984, but was enrolled in a course which was not recognised by the government.
"Other than this course, I have studied up to 12th class and I have never hidden that. Even in my poll affidavit, I have mentioned all aspects of my education," Tawde had said. "Had I mentioned that I did a course from Mumbai University, Pune University or Shivaji University, that would have amounted to cheating. But I did no such thing," the minister said.