Mumbai, Nov 6: Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis to 'sack' state forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar from his post, calling him a 'liability' and accusing him of issuing orders to shoot tigress Avni.
In the letter addressed to Fadnavis, Gandhi has written, ... I request you to fix the responsibility for the killing of the tigress and consider removing Shri Mungatiwar from the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment and Forest in the state government.
She added, If the Environment and Forest Minister resorts to killing of animals instead of protecting them, he is definitely failing in his duty. This is something like the WCD Minister working for child traffickers.
The killing of the man-eating tigress Avni has triggered a full blown war of words between the forest minister in Maharashtra and union minister Maneka Gandhi, both belonging to the BJP. A day after Maneka Gandhi called the killing a "ghastly murder" and a "straight case of crime", Maharashtra minister Sudhir Mungantiwar hit back with a tart response.
On Monday Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis announced a probe to ascertain if there were any procedural lapses in the killing of an alleged man-eater tigress, Avni, last Saturday.
"She (Gandhi) has used harsh words, but her sentiments are understandable. All animal lovers' sentiments are harsh on this incident. It was a very difficult decision, but whether the procedure was correct or not will be inquired into," Fadnavis told mediapersons.
Fadnavis' reactions came a day after Gandhi lashed out at Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar for Avni's killing, while ruling ally Shiv Sena has termed it as an "encounter killing", Mumbai Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam called it a "barbaric murder' and Aam Aadmi Party condemned the tigress' elimination in the Yavatmal forests.