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No action to be taken against South Mumbai's tainted BJP leaders

While district vice president Vinay Tripathi has been arrested in a cheating case and president Siddharth Gamre is embroiled in the Adarsh case, the party’s city president Ashish Shelar said there were no plans of penalising them

Vinay Tripathi, the district vice president of the south Mumbai division of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was recently arrested on charges of cheating.

His arrest puts him in something of the same league as his immediate superior, the president of south Mumbai BJP Siddharth Gamre, who is facing charges of owning a flat in the controversial Adarsh building ('BJP’s new South Mumbai prez has a flat in Adarsh', MiD DAY, September 4, 2013).

Siddharth Gamre (inset), the president of south Mumbai BJP, is facing charges of owning a flat in the controversial Adarsh building
Siddharth Gamre, the president of south Mumbai BJP, is facing charges of owning a flat in the controversial Adarsh building

However, when MiD DAY asked BJP’s city president Ashish Shelar if he would take action against either of the duo, his reply was a straight no. Sanjiv Mandlik, senior police inspector of LT Marg police station, confirmed that Tripathi had been arrested and sent to judicial custody.

According to BJP sources, Vinay Tripathi allegedly got himself involved in a land deal
According to BJP sources, Vinay Tripathi allegedly got himself involved in a land deal

“We arrested him some time last week and now he has been remanded in judicial custody. The case is a bit of an old one; however, what I can recollect is that he has been charged under Section 420 (A) for cheating,” he said. The section is applicable for cheating related to property.

According to sources from BJP, Tripathi allegedly got himself involved in a land deal, and the case against him has to do with funds related to it. “The matter has something to do with property in south Mumbai, and this is not the first time, a leader from our party has got into this kind of fiasco.

Already, it is difficult for us to deal with the Adarsh taint on our south Mumbai president. Our senior party leaders aren’t serious about this; they think such acts will go unnoticed in the forthcoming elections,” said a leader, requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, BJP is demanding the south Mumbai Lok Sabha seat from Shiv Sena, but with all its top leaders from the district involved in these controversies, this seems unlikely. A senior party leader said, “While one of our leaders is fighting for justice in the Adarsh scam, our very own leader is accused in it.

We are talking about a clean image, but not taking action against people who are being arrested. Nothing is being done by the unit president, even for the sake of tokenism,” said the leader.

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