BJP, ri­vals pre­pare for ru­ral Maha show­down

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Suren­dra P Gan­gan suren­dra.gan­gan@hin­dus­tan­times.com HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

It isn’t just the civic polls in Mum­bai and other cities that po­lit­i­cal par­ties are busy pre­par­ing for, as plans are be­ing made to win man­date even in ru­ral Ma­ha­rash­tra. Be­gin­ning Oc­to­ber, elec­tions will be held for 26 zilla parishads (ZP), or dis­trict coun­cils, which look af­ter lo­cal gover­nance in ru­ral ar­eas across the five re­gions of Ma­ha­rash­tra. The state elec­tion com­mis­sion on Fri­day started the pro­ce­dure to con­duct the elec­tions.

While the NCP and the Con­gress rule ma­jor­ity of the ZPs in the state, the rul­ing BJP is plan­ning to in­crease its strength at the ru­ral level. The out­come of the ZP elec­tions will show whether the party has suc­ceeded in es­tab­lish­ing it­self in ru­ral Ma­ha­rash­tra.

Ear­lier this year, the BJP gov­ern­ment pre­sented the an­nual bud­get, which fo­cused on ru­ral ar­eas and farm­ers.

The En­force­ment Direc­torate (ED) at­tached move­able and im­mov­able prop­er­ties worth Rs1,411 crore of busi­ness­man Vi­jay Mallya and United Bre­waries (Hold­ing) Lim­ited un­der the Preven­tion of Money Laun­der­ing Act (PMLA) on Satur­day.

The pro­vi­sional at­tach­ment in­cludes bank bal­ance of Rs34 crore, one flat each in Ben­galuru and Mum­bai, an in­dus­trial plot in Chen­nai, cof­fee plan­ta­tions in Coorg and prop­erty in UB CITY and King­fisher Tower ar­eas of Ban­ga­lore.

A tweet from ED’s of­fi­cial han­dle read: “ED has at­tached prop­er­ties worth Rs1,411 crore of Mar­ket Value of Vi­jay Mallya and UB (Hold­ing) Ltd un­der PMLA (Preven­tion of Money Laun­der­ing Act) in King­fisher Air­lines’ IDBI Bank case.”

Mallya, whose de­funct air­lines owes more than Rs9,000 crore to var­i­ous banks, left In­dia on March 2.

The probe agency said in­ves­ti­ga­tions show the ac­cused was dis­pos­ing of prop­er­ties to en­sure “fur­ther pro­ceed­ings un­der PMLA may be frus­trated”.

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