Congress leader files petition accusing Thackeray

Congress leader’s election petition accusing Thackeray to come up for hearing in Bombay High Court

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. Credit: PTI Photo

In a significant development, an election petition filed by senior Congressman and former minority affairs minister Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan against now Shiv Sena MLA Dilip Lande would come up for hearing in the Bombay High Court on Friday.

Khan is currently the working president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC).

In the 2019 October Vidhan Sabha polls, Khan lost the Chandivali seat by a narrow margin of 409 votes against Lande.

Khan, in his plea, has pointed out on 20 October, 2019, Shiv Sena president and now chief minister Uddhav Thackeray along with his close aide and now state transport minister Anil Parab and film actor Milind Gunaji had campaigned beyond the stipulated campaigning period. 

Polling in the state was held on 21 October, 2019.

According to Khan's petition, a fake video was circulated showing him raising the slogan of “Pakistan zindabad”. 

The petition would be heard - for the first time  - before a division bench headed by Justice SK Shinde. 

Khan had lodged a complaint against Lande, however, the Returning Officer did not take any action. 

“The unlawful campaign during the prohibited 48 hours of elections by Thackeray with his large convoy and protection was against Election Commission norms. The aforesaid acts have resulted in an unlawful election process resulting in election of Lande by a margin of 409 votes,” the petition states. 

Incidentally, the Shiv Sena and BJP contested the polls together.

However, after the polls, the Shiv Sena forged an alliance with opposition NCP-Congress to keep BJP out of power and formed the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government. 

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