Sena accuses BJP of using money and muni in civic polls

Sena accuses BJP of using money and muni in civic polls
The Shiv Sena on Wednesday accused the BJP of using “money and muni” to win the polls in the polls to the Mira-Bhayender Municipal Corporation (MBMC), one of the important civic bodies of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

The MBMC has a cosmopolitan population dominated largely by Gujaratis, Marwaris and North Indians. As far as Maharashtrians are concerned, there is a sizeable Argi and Koli population and those from Konkan region. As far as religious mix are concerned, there is a large Muslim population and so as a big Jain population.  A large number of traders of Mumbai are from this hustling-bustling western suburb, located around 40 km away from downtown Mumbai.

In a video message allegedly circulated on the eve of elections, the Jain monk, Muni Naypadmasagarji Maharaj, had reportedly urged his followers to vote for the BJP as it is the only party which will uphold vegetarianism in Mira Road-Bhayander and the rest of the country. The BJP would help to create a “meat-free society”, according to the monk.

The Shiv Sena is also contemplating moving the State Election Commission – and senior leaders feel that it violates the poll code.

Speaking to reporters here, Shiv Sena spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut said that it was like a ‘fatwa’. “Those who issue such 'fatwas' are political goons and I compare him with Zakir Naik. There is a danger to law and order on account of such religious leaders," Raut said.

"These people campaigning for vegetarianism society in Mira Road-Bhayander today will tomorrow demand that the jawans on the country's borders should also turn vegetarians. Because of such elements, the country will be doomed," Raut warned.

“Using a religious personality to solicit votes is a clear violation of the election code of conduct. We have the tape recordings,” he said.

Senior BJP leader Dr Kirit Somaiya, however, brushed aside the allegations of Shiv Sena. “They have taken the defeat to the heart,” he said, adding that the results show that the people are with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

In the MBMC polls, the BJP won 61 seats, the Sena 22, Congress 10 and Independents two in the 95-member house, while all other major national and state parties were totally wiped off.

The development comes a day after Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray called on Fadnavis to discuss issues related to Kalyan-Dombivli eastern suburbs.


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