BMC Election: BJP cries 'match-fixing' again, says Shiv Sena and Congress in covert deal for 50 seats
Allegation comes on heels of claim of 42 seats being compromised; Tawde also offers data on massive jump in Sena corporators' incomes
This Valentine's Day, the Shiv Sena and the Congress seem to have found the perfect match in each other, according to the BJP. Education Minister Vinod Tawde alleged yesterday that the two parties had entered into another 'match-fixing' deal over 50 seats for the BMC election.
On February 5, Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar had accused the Sena and the Congress of striking a secret deal in 42 seats, by propping up weak candidates, to facilitate each other's win.
Tawde told reporters that while the Sena is helping the Congress with 10 seats, the latter is returning the favour in 40 wards. "The Congress has slowed down its campaign against the Sena in 40 wards, while the Sena has reciprocated by going easy on the Congress in 10 seats."
He reiterated Shelar's allegation, saying the 'fixing' was in addition to the 42 seats. "This is the Valentine's Day gift that the two have exchanged. This is unholy alliance," he said, adding that the tacit pact's sole aim is to ensure the BJP's defeat.
Asked to name the 92 allegedly compromised seats, he said a list would soon be made available.
Incomes growing manifold
Producing data, the minister alleged that Sena candidates have increased their incomes manifold over the past 10 years. The list included 20 candidates who were elected as corporators in 2007 and 2012. The BJP has compiled the statistics by comparing the old and new election affidavits of the candidates in which assets are declared.
According to Tawde, the increase was between 22% and 3,943%. Since mid-day could not verify the information provided by the BJP, it has decided to not publish the names of the candidates.
"What kind of business do these persons do to grow their income? Is it the cuts, kickbacks and commission these guys get while being in power in the BMC?" the minister asked.
Vinod Tawde claims that the Sena is helping the Congress with 10 seats, and the latter is returning the favour in 40 wards. FILE PIC
Can Sena talk development?
Tawde said the citizens of Mumbai would like to know the Sena's development agenda, instead of listening to issues that are not related to the city. "The Sena talks national and international issues, but avoids debating what the city needs. The citizens are sensible and they know what to do with such loudmouthed parties," he said.
The BJP has been going strong with a social media campaign — #SenaSupportsCongress — for the last two days. The campaign was devised after Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray praised the Congress' performance in the Centre and gave a clean chit to former PM Manmohan Singh in view of his criticism by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Tawde called the Sena's bluff. "Remember the 2014 elections? The Sena had accused Manmohan Singh of corruption and what not. And the same party is now doling out a certificate of excellence to the former PM," he said.