Shiv Sena loses fight for Versova as candidate's form is rejected

Rajul Patel was among the 10 people whose nomination forms were thrown out because they didn’t fulfill the necessary criteria; she hadn’t taken the mandatory constitutional oath

Shiv Sena has been forced to bow out of the fight for Versova constituency even before the state goes to polls, because its candidate didn’t complete the nomination procedure. Sena candidate Rajul Patel was among the ten people whose forms were rejected by the returning officer, after finding that they had not fulfilled all required criteria.

Shiv Sena’s Versova candidate Rajul Patel will not be able to contest the seat, because she didn’t take the mandatory constitutional oath. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi
Shiv Sena’s Versova candidate Rajul Patel will not be able to contest the seat, because she didn’t take the mandatory constitutional oath. Pic/Sayed Sameer Abedi

Every candidate, after submitting her nomination form, has to take a constitutional oath in the presence of the returning officer, one of the many boxes that require to be ticked in order for the nomination to be accepted. Patel, said Returning Officer Vikas Pansare of the Versova constituency, didn’t take the mandatory oath.

“At the time the candidates filed their nominations, we had handed over a scrutiny sheet to them, which enlists all the necessary steps to be taken in order to complete the nomination process. While scrutinising the submitted forms, we found that two candidates had not submitted their affidavit (form 26) and eight others had not taken the oath after filing their nominations,” said Pansare.

If a senior Sena leader is to be believed, the party workers had categorically asked the returning officer, after submitting Patel’s form on Saturday, if there was anything more to be done. “He told us there was nothing more to be done, so we left the premises. Now he tells us we didn’t take the oath,” fumed the leader.

Most candidates who suffered this setback met the returning officer. Pansare said the matter was even referred to the State Election Commissioner Nitin Gadare. “He told us nothing could be done, as the rules are the same for everyone. Candidates who had not taken the oath, had till Sunday 11.59 pm to complete the process, but none of them came forward to do so. So, we had to reject their forms,” Pansare explained.

Replying to the Sena’s allegations, Pansare stated, “Everything is clearly written in the scrutiny sheet given to the candidates. Had they gone through it, this would have not happened. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure his/her nomination process is complete.” A total of 24 candidates had filed nominations for Versova, of which 10 are out of the race.

Of the remaining 14, Baldev Khosa from the Congress, Manish Dhuri from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, Narendra Verma from the Nationalist Congress Party and Dr Bharati Lavekar from the BJP are the nominees from the five major political parties.

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