Sena, Cong have Joined Hands on 42 BMC Seats, Al­leges BJP

Ex-CECs Bat for To­tal Cash­less Do­na­tions

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

Mum­bai: BJP on Sun­day claimed a “match-fix­ing” be­tween the Congress and Shiv Sena in 42 wards for the BMC elec­tions, sched­uled later this month.

“Lead­ers of both these par­ties have fielded weak can­di­dates in these wards to ben­e­fit the other,” BJP city unit pres­i­dent Ashish She­lar said.

BJP kick started its cam­paign on Sun­day by first of­fer­ing trib­utes at Hu­tatma Smarak, where 107 peo­ple mar­tyred for uni­fi­ca­tion of Mum­bai with Ma­ha­rash­tra be­fore 1960.

Sena, BJP’s part­ner in Cen­tral and state gov­ern­ments, is con­test­ing the mu­nic­i­pal polls by break­ing the al­liance.

Both the saf­fron par­ties have been in power in BMC, coun­try's rich­est civic body, for two decades. The elec­tion to 227-mem­ber BMC is sched­uled on Fe­bru­ary 21.

Ad­dress­ing a rally of the BJP can­di­dates, She­lar said, “Shiv Sena and the Mum­bai unit of Congress led by San­jay Niru­pam have en­tered into some kind of match fix­ing. Their agenda is to de­feat BJP. It also means they have ad­mit­ted their de­feat. This is s treach­ery to Ch­ha­tra­p­ati Shivaji Ma­haraj, to Mum­bai and to Ma­ha­rash­tra as well.”

In a veiled dig at se­nior Sena leader San­jay Raut, a close as­so­ciate of party chief Ud­dhav Thack­eray, She­lar said the leader con­tin­ues his mis­chievous acts and for that some­times he needs NCP chief Sharad Pawar and some­times San­jay Niru­pam.

Re­fer­ring to Niru­pam’s past as­so­ci­a­tion with Sena, She­lar said fi­nally “old shiv sainik” has come to help.

“I am ready to de­bate over these 42 seats where Shiv Sena and Congress have reached an un­der­stand­ing,” he said. New Delhi: The cap of ₹ 2,000 per per­son on cash do­na­tions to po­lit­i­cal par­ties is a wel­come move but the pro­vi­sions can be made more strin­gent as par­ties can still find ways to by­pass laws aimed at cleans­ing elec­toral sys­tem of black money, for­mer Chief Elec­tion Com­mis­sion­ers feel.

Scep­ti­cal that par­ties can al­ways hood­wink laws, they also sug­gest that ef­forts should be made to make do­na­tions to po­lit­i­cal par­ties to­tally “cash­less” to usher in more trans­parency. The for­mer CECs, who had pro­posed a slew of elec­toral re­forms in their ten­ure at the Nir­vachan Sadan, said the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion should also be given power un­der elec­toral laws to “deregis- ter” par­ties which have not con­tested elec­tions for a long time as they are be­ing used as a con­duit to con­vert black money. As part of a ma­jor move pro­posed in the Bud­get to cleanse the elec­toral sys­tem of black money, hence­forth, po­lit­i­cal par­ties can re­ceive only up to ₹ 2,000 in cash do­na­tions.

An­nounc­ing this, Fi­nance Min­is­ter Arun Jait­ley said po­lit­i­cal par­ties will be en­ti­tled to re­ceive do­na­tions by cheque or dig­i­tal mode from their donors. As of now, the limit to ac­cept po­lit­i­cal do­na­tions in cash is ₹ 20,000.

BJP's women wing work­ers at the Hu­tatma Smarak be­fore launch­ing cam­paign for BMC elec­tions in South Mum­bai on Sun­day.

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