Cong corporator hides marriage from poll officials

Twenty-two-year-old Sneha Zagade, the newly-elected Congress corporator from Ward Number 45 (Sundar Nagar-Piramal Nagar) in Goregaon, allegedly hid the fact that she was married to Pravesh Ghanekar (23) and withheld all information pertaining to him in an affidavit submitted to the civic election department.

All on paper: A scanned copy of the couple’s marriage certificate shows that Pravesh and Sneha (below) had married on August 16, 2011.

Pravesh claims to have married Sneha on August 16, 2011, at the Bandra Court. He said they lived together for 45 days, after which Sneha visited her father’s home for Diwali and did not return. The requirement for all candidates contesting civic elections is that they should disclose information about marital status, children and assets. In an affidavit submitted to the civic election department (copy available with MiD DAY), Sneha mentions that she is unmarried.

Pravesh showed MiD DAY their marriage certificate, which indicates that the two were married on August 16, 2011, in the Bandra Court.  “We lived together for about 45 days after marriage. She went to her father’s house for Diwali and did not return,” Pravesh said. When Sneha was contacted, her father Vinayak Zagade answered her phone and said, “We don’t want to comment on this issue.” Upon persistent questioning, Vinayak neither denied nor accepted that he knew Pravesh and kept repeating that he would prefer not to talk about the matter.

Pravesh revealed that he met Sneha in 2008 at a private coaching class when they were both in Std XI.“We were in touch regularly for almost four years. Our families were not ready to accept our relationship, as we are not from the same caste. We still got married in August 2011,” Pravesh said, adding that after the marriage their families finally gave in and things were going well. “After Diwali things changed. Sneha was in touch with me till her birthday (March 12), but stopped calling due to pressure from her family,” Pravesh said.

Nationalist Congress Party Goregaon Taluka president Sachin Chavan wrote a letter to the BMC election office regarding the withheld information. “Sneha should be disqualified as she has given false information to the election office and BMC should schedule bye-poll for this ward,” Chavan said in the letter.  

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