NCP's Wanjale drives in on wrong side of poll code of conduct

MiD DAY spots by-election candidate Harshada Wanjale arriving at polling booths in Dhayri in car bearing party symbol, her name, images of senior leaders and the Marathi word for MLA written on number plate

Harshada Wanjale, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate in the Khadakwasla assembly bypoll, was found violating the model code of conduct during the election yesterday.

The Ford car with images and the word 'Aamdar' on its number plate; Harshada Wanjale in the car

MiD DAY found Wanjale arriving at polling booths in Dhayri in her white Ford car that was displaying the
logo of her party, her name, small images of senior leaders from her party, and the Marathi word 'Aamdar', which means Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), on the number plate of the vehicle.

Code on till Monday
The violation was later confirmed by Chandrakant Waghmare, the head of the Office of the Code of Conduct.

"Although the campaign for the bypoll got over on Tuesday, the model code of conduct will be applicable till October 17, which is the day of counting of the votes.
Therefore, any act against the model code of conduct will be treated as a violation of the code of conduct," Waghmare said.

Vehicle registration details obtained from the RTO showed the Ford was owned by Wanjale, who is the widow of former MNS MLA Ramesh Wanjale.

RTO officials said Wanjale's car (MH-12 DY 5001) was previously registered in the name of her husband. They said the vehicle was transferred to her name on the same day as Ramesh Wanjale passed away, which was June 10.

It was the death of Ramesh Wanjale that necessitated yesterday's bypoll in the Khadakwasla assembly constituency.

The Other Side
HARSHADA Wanjale's campaign head Rupali Patil denied there had been a violation of the code of conduct.

"The car had belonged to Ramesh Wanjale, therefore the designation (of MLA) was displayed on the number plate," she said. Patil was unable to explain why Wanjale had put the NCP party logo on the car. Wanjale's husband had been an MNS MLA.

RTO rules violated too
RTO officials said that according to the Central Motor Vehicle Rule 1989, anything written on the number plate of a vehicle other than the vehicle number is a punishable offence and the police station concerned, the traffic police or the RTO has the right to take action against the vehicle owner. The fine for the offence is Rs 100.

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