Former BJP MLA Narendra Mehta was on Friday charged for allegedly raping and harassing a woman corporator in Bhayandar, which is in the Thane district near Mumbai, on Friday, police said.
His associate Sanjay Tharthare has also been charged in the case, they said.
The district rural police lodged an FIR against Narendra Mehta, who resigned from the BJP three days ago, and his associate, an official from the Mira-Bhayandar police station said.
No arrest has been made till now.
A video of the corporator purportedly speaking about the alleged harassment and abuse she suffered at the hands of Narendra Mehta went viral on social media two days ago, the official said.
The corporator has alleged that the abuse is going on since 1999 and her family is facing threats from him, he added.
Narendra Mehta and Sanjay Tharthare were charged under relevant section of the Indian Penal Code for rape and other relevant provisions of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, he said.
Meanwhile, Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik demanded the immediate arrest of Narendra Mehta, saying it is a “tragedy” that the BJP, which raises the issue of women’s safety in the state, has not taken any action against its leader.
“Law and order issue will arise if such a person (facing rape and harassment charges) roams freely. He should be arrested as soon as possible,” Mr Sarnaik said.
The Thane legislator also termed Narendra Mehta as “Marathi-hater” and alleged that he had once questioned Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s culture.
“I wonder why the BJP did not take strict action against Mehta, it needs to introspect,” Mr Sarnaik said.