Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), on Friday, accused Shiv Sena of manipulating votes during the election to the chairperson’s post of the health committee. There are a total of 36 members in the committee, out of which 28 members participated in the voting. Out of the total members, 15 are from Shiv Sena, 13 members are from BJP, five members are from Congress, two members are from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and one member from the Samajwadi Party (SP).
During the voting, Congress had withdrawn its candidature and maintained a neutral stand. Members from the SP and NCP supported the Shiv Sena candidate. However, two Shiv Sena candidates were absent. And, 16 votes polled for the Shiv Sena candidate Rajul Patel.
Meanwhile, out of the 13 members of BJP, two members were absent. And, 11 votes were polled for the BJP candidate Bindu Trivedi. However, BJP claimed that five members from Shiv Sena had signed in the wrong column. Their votes were disqualified and the final tally stood at 11 votes for each candidate.
"Despite both the candidates having equal votes, the mayor supported the Shiv Sena candidate and declared her as the winner," said BJP group leader Prabhakar Shinde.
"We have staged a walkout and have also written to the election commission, " he added.
Meanwhile, a senior civic official and an associate of the mayor, who was present during the polling, said that only one Shiv Sena candidate had signed in the wrong column and not five. "Only one vote from Shiv Sena got disqualified and not five. It was a clear win for them," said the official.
"The BJP members can easily visit the municipal secretary's office and check the ballot papers and verify how many documents had wrong signatures, which they are not doing because they know they will be proved wrong," said the official. Meanwhile, Shiv Sena candidate Pratima Khopde has been elected as the chairperson for markets and garden committee.