BMC Election: 4-year-old Mumbai schoolgirl seals candidates' fate

Winner of ward 220 decided by lottery after 3 ties

Winner Atul Shah (BJP) with his Lady Luck, Yashika Salunke. Pics/Suresh Karkera
Winner Atul Shah (BJP) with his Lady Luck, Yashika Salunke. Pics/Suresh Karkera

Tiny Yashika Salunkhe has no idea of the power she wielded last evening. The four-year-old student of St Joseph School in Agripada was picked by election authorities to decide the fate of two candidates who had tied in ward 220.

Sena candidate Surendra Bagalkar
Sena candidate Surendra Bagalkar

After three consecutive ties between Shiv Sena candidate Surendra Bagalkar and BJP's Atul Shah in the ward (comprising Girgaon and Khotwadi), it was decided that the winner would be declared via lucky draw, and that Yashika would be the chosen one to seal their fates.

The winning chit revealed Shah's name.

"She was playing in the vicinity (the counting centre was the Gilder Road municipal school at Grant Road) and she was the only child around at the time," said her mother, Tejaswi Salunkhe. "She did not know what she was being called for. She thought it was a fun game when she had to pick one of the two chits."

Yashika's grandfather, Ramesh Maruti Panaswarikar, is the caretaker of the school where the votes were counted.

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