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Mumbai: Congress candidate complains against returning officer

Sushiben Shah, the Congress candidate from Malabar Hill here, today lodged a complaint with Maharashtra's chief electoral officer Nitin Gadre against the returning officer of her constituency for "unfairly" targeting her.

Shah, who is the chairperson of the state women's commission, also alleged that her workers were facing harassment from her opponent, BJP's Mangalprabhat Lodha.

In her letter to the CEO, Shah said she was being unfairly targeted by the returning officer Padmakar Rokade. "Since the start of my campaign on September 26 morning, the returning officer has been sending me unjustified notices for election code of conduct violation," it says.

Shah said yesterday a flying squad sent by the returning officer illegally seized 35,000 information slips which were
being distributed by her workers in Khetwadi area. "No reason was cited. The returning officer seems to be motivated.... distribution is prohibited only on polling date," she said.

While a board displaying her name as general secretary of Priyadarshini Park was removed by the flying squad, six
plaques displaying Lodha's name at the Napean Sea Road were not even covered, let alone removed, she said.

Shah has demanded removal of the returning officer. Meanwhile, asked about the complaint, Gadre said observers in each constituency supervise the work of returning officers and report directly to the Election Commission of India.

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