Mumbai: Just a week ahead of the Lok Sabha election, the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) chief and Mumbai South constituency candidate Milind Deora has asked his voters if they want to continue being represented by a person who has 13 criminal charges filed against him. He was referring to his rival and sitting Shiv Sena MP since 2005 Arvind Sawant.
Pointing to Sawant’s affidavit, Deora said there were 13 criminal charges against the Sawant and also demanded to know whether he had tried to ‘abuse and misuse’ his influence in the Maharashtra government to get the cases withdrawn. The charges include carrying weapons, rioting and punishment for rioting, offence committed in prosecution of common object, criminal force against public servant and many others.
Deora’s affidavit does not show any criminal case pending against him.“The people of South Mumbai have to decide whether they would like to vote and be represented in the Parliament by an individual who has a criminal record that demonstrates his disregard for law,” Deora said in his statement.
“Can such a person be sitting in Parliament as a lawmaker, representing the socially conscious and economically prestigious South Mumbai parliamentary constituency?”he asked. Deora later alleged in a tweet, Sawant had skipped 16 hearings of a fast-track court set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to try elected representatives with criminal charges. “Is this delay an attempt to put pressure on the government to withdraw charges?” he asked.
Noting that the Election Commission has made it mandatory for candidates with criminal records, to publish the same in three newspapers, Deora said, “Sawant should immediately place his advertisements and honour the Election Commission rules.”