Mumbai News: Shiv Sena (UBT) Accuses Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha Of Breaching Code Of Conduct

Mumbai News: Shiv Sena (UBT) Accuses Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha Of Breaching Code Of Conduct

The controversial meeting, organized by the Lodha Foundation, took place on Sunday evening at Pedder Road.

RUCHA KANOLKARUpdated: Monday, May 20, 2024, 02:31 AM IST
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Mumbai: Guardian Minister of Mumbai city district, Mangal Prabhat Lodha, has come under fire from Shivsena UBT leaders for organizing a public interaction session one day before voting day. The opposition claims this event breaches the model code of conduct, which is intended to ensure fair campaign practices during the election period.

The controversial meeting, organized by the Lodha Foundation, took place on Sunday evening at Pedder Road. Residents from Prem Court, Maheshwari Niketan, and Anand Darshan attended the session, where they discussed civic issues with Minister Lodha. The invitation for the event stated, "Adv. Mangal Prabhat Lodha ji wants to meet you to solve civic problems through the Lodha Foundation, come with friends."

Aaditya Thackeray, an MLA from Shivsena UBT, has been vocal in his criticism. He wrote to the Election Commission of India and condemned the meeting as a "proxy campaign" and accused Lodha of using his foundation as a facade to influence voters on the eve of elections. He expressed skepticism about any potential action from the Election Commission, stating, "We are not expecting much action from you, but still trying to open your eyes. Mumbai is seeing a proxy campaign by the guardian minister of the illegal regime Mr. Lodha in Dheeraj Apartments, Peddar road. Invites were sent to 'Prem Court', 'Maheshwari Nikentan', and 'Anand Darshan' in the name of Lodha Foundation… 'to know their issues.' This is nothing but a proxy campaign, a day before elections."

Thackeray further questioned the impartiality of the Election Commission, highlighting the apparent selective enforcement of the model code of conduct. He challenged the Commission, asking, "We wonder if you will step in and rein him in or are you ok for other candidates to visit the same place at the same time to 'know the issues' or convey their issues to visiting MLA? Why should the building presidents/ secretaries not be booked for this crime? This is a blatant violation of poll code and if not stopped, we also would visit and convey local issues to him at the same place."

In response to these allegations, Mangal Prabhat Lodha defended his actions, asserting that his long-standing commitment to public service should not be misconstrued as a breach of conduct. "For the past 30 years, I have consistently engaged with people while serving actively in public life. I have not violated the model code of conduct, and I will continue to uphold them. The code of conduct doesn't imply staying home or avoiding public interactions. Meeting people is not a crime!" Lodha clarified.

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