Even as Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray will be officially announced an elected legislator on Thursday afternoon, Independent candidate Shahbaz Rathod is all set to challenge the process. This will ensure that the proverbial Damocles' sword of a judicial order will be hanging over this election in the future.
The Biennial election for nine vacant seats of the state legislative council was announced by Election Commission in first week of May. The last day to file nominations was May 11 and that for withdrawal is May 14. But four candidates withdrew before the last day. After 3pm on Thursday, the election officer will announce all the nine candidates, including Thackeray, as elected unopposed.
The application of Independent candidate Rathod was disqualified on the grounds that it was not accompanied by the requisite number (10) of supporting signatures from legislators
“I have sought the disqualification in writing. I will get it tomorrow (Thursday). I will then file a writ petition in the Bombay High Court and challenge this election,” Shahbaz Rathod told The Free Press Journal.
No mention of rule
“When I got this application form, I was neither informed about the rule that requires the signatures of 10 MLAs nor was it mentioned in the form and in the list of documents. How can my application be rejected if there is no mention of this rule? This is cheating and violation of the election process,” Rathod said.
“This rule is neither mentioned in the press note of the announcement of this election nor mentioned in the guidelines. The notification of this election should be issued and published in the official gazette. But we did not find the issued and published notification. This shows the election was held only on the basis of a press note. Therefore, we have filed a petition in the High Court,” said Advocate K T Thomas, counsel for Rathod.
Who is Shahbaz Rathod?
Rathod lives in Mumbadevi. He has some cases pending against him in various courts. He had also contested the 2019 Lok Sabha election from South Mumbai. He was unwilling to share details about himself.