Parties’ criteria to award BMC tickets: Winnability over work 26/11 attacks case: Pakistan blames India for sluggish pace of their trial
From fielding turncoats to old guards of the party and handing out tickets to family members, the list of final candidates of major political parties on Friday showed that winnability was the main criteria for making the cut for the BMC elections.
The last day of filing nominations for the crucial Mumbai civic polls saw chaos, with the three main parties in the mix — BJP, Shiv Sena and Congress — unable to release their list of candidates until late evening, much after the deadline for nominations had ended. The last-minute scramble was to ensure that a rebellion within the party was stymied, but political adjustments and intrigue are likely to continue over the weekend, until the last date to withdraw candidature.
The three main parties gave merit, grassroots cadre and loyalty a miss and went with community arithmetic, money and mobilisation power while zeroing in on their candidates. All three went with a majority of Marathi candidates. The Sena led the pack by fielding nearly 85% or 190-odd candidates from the community. The BJP gave tickets to 120-odd Marathi candidates while Congress has fielded 111 Marathi faces.
Pakistan has blamed India in writing for the weak prosecution and slow progress in the ongoing 2008 Mumbai attacks trial in Islamabad, even suggesting LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi got bail because New Delhi couldn’t provide incriminating evidence.
In July 2015, foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan exchanged letters after a meeting between PMs Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif in Ufa, Russia.
The contents of the letter from Pakistani foreign secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry — a copy of which is with HT — haven’t been previously revealed and the tone and substance suggests that Islamabad isn’t seriously pursuing the trial. Chaudhry’s letter dated September 8, 2015 accepts that the meeting between Modi and Sharif “provided us a direction to move forward”. It points out that “the government of Pakistan has assigned a dedicated high level team of experts to closely monitor the developments in the case.
But the letter goes on to add: “So far the prosecution evidence remains weak and incomplete due to the failure on the part of the Indian authorities to provide incriminating evidence that they claimed was in their possession.”
The document puts the responsibility of providing evidence on New Delhi. “It is neither reasonable nor acceptable to blame Pakistan for the slow pace or lack of progress. It was Indian authorities’ responsibility to provide all the material evidence which has not been done.”