Subscription Subscription
Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Thane Ex MLA Pappu Kalani son Omi keep Ulhasnagar residents guessing about their political allegiance

Thane: Ex-MLA Pappu Kalani, son Omi keep Ulhasnagar residents guessing about their political allegiance

Updated on: 20 February,2024 06:56 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Faisal Tandel |

In just two months, scion and ex-MLA father Pappu Kalani have been seen meeting with three political groups

Thane: Ex-MLA Pappu Kalani, son Omi keep Ulhasnagar residents guessing about their political allegiance

(From left) Pancham Kalani, Omi Kalani, DCM Ajit Pawar and former MP Anand Paranjpe. Pic/Navneet Barhate

The local residents of Ulhasnagar are wondering whom their leader will support in the upcoming elections, with photos of former MLA Pappu Kalani and his son Omi meeting leaders from various political parties going viral on social media. Speaking with mid-day, Omi said, “We [team Omi] have 22 corporators from Ulhasnagar and all of us will support Shrikant Shinde during the Lok Sabha election. We had openly declared this after meeting with Shinde.”

Former MLA Pappu Kalani and his son Omi, in the past two months, have met senior political leaders including Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, MP Shrikant Shinde, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and NCP head Sharad Pawar. They also met MLA Jitendra Awhad and Rohit Pawar. Sharad Pawar, Jitendra Awhad and Rohit Pawar met Pappu Kalani at the Kalani bungalow in Ulhasnagar, while Shrikant Shinde and Pappu had a meeting in a car and at a party program. Meanwhile, Omi and his wife Pancham met DCM Ajit Pawar at his office.

MP Shrikant Shinde with Pappu Kalani. Pics/Navneet Barhate
MP Shrikant Shinde with Pappu Kalani. Pics/Navneet Barhate

When asked about Sharad Pawar’s visit to the Kalani bungalow, Omi said, “My mother, the late Jyoti Kalani, was an MLA from the NCP party. She was very close to Pawar and had family relations for many years. A few days ago, he was visiting Ulhasnagar so we invited them over for lunch or dinner. But they said they would visit for tea.”

Regarding whether his party will support the Sharad Pawar faction during the Vidhan Sabha election and corporation election, he said, “At present, we have not decided about the MLA and the corporation elections. We will decide on the further course of action.” There are also rumours that Pawar had a meeting with Pappu on the second floor of the bungalow, but Omi denied this saying his father was out of town at the time.

Sources said there is a sitting MLA, Kumar Ailani of the BJP who defeated late Jyoti Kalani. So now, Omi is interested in the MLA election. And as the Eknath Shinde Shiv Sena and BJP have an alliance, there are fewer chances of getting a ticket from the Shinde faction. “It is believed that the Kalani family is preparing for the MLA elections and may go with Pawar’s NCP faction. It is also said that Omi himself will stand for MLA as an independent. But the Kalani family has a history where they mostly support the party in power. As Pappu has a history of crime and is out on parole, he will play it safe and avoid any controversy,” said a source close to the Kalani family.

The party plans to back Sharad Pawar
The party plans to back Sharad Pawar

Meanwhile, Bharat Gangotri, Maharashtra pradesh secretary for the NCP Ajit Pawar faction, said, “The name and fame Pappu Kalani and its team had vanished. To keep the name and wealth stable they are meeting different senior leaders. They claim to have 22 corporators, but the picture has changed now. Many corporators are in line to leave, while a few others are threatened by their criminal background and have been asked to stay. They (Kalanis) have assured many of them after meeting with leaders that the party is up for a big decision very soon. They have a history of supporting the party in power and being in power so that they don’t face any consequences for their criminal background. The upcoming MLA and corporation election will show them where they stand.”

Kalani family history

On February 27, 1990, there was an argument between BJP leaders Ghanshyam Bathija and Pappu Kalani over bogus voting during the assembly elections. Due to this dispute, Ghanshyam was killed in a firing incident while he was standing outside Pinto Park on the same evening.  Ghanshyam’s brother Inder filed a complaint at the Central police station in Ulhasnagar alleging that Pappu had committed the murder. He also demanded police protection. But despite having police protection, on April 28, 1990, Inder was in Pinto Park when Baba Gabriel, Bachchi Pandey, Shyam Kishore Garikapatti, Harshad and Richard Yani brutally murdered him.

MP Shrikant Shinde and Pappu Kalani meet
MP Shrikant Shinde and Pappu Kalani meet

A case was filed against Pappu Kalani as the main facilitator of both these crimes. On December 3, 2013, the Kalyan Sessions Court sentenced Pappu to life imprisonment in the Inder Bathija murder case. In March 2020, after COVID restrictions were announced in the country and prisoners were granted emergency leave, Pappu came out on parole. He is still out of jail and staying in Ulhasnagar with his family.  Several cases have been filed against the Kalanis and the Maruti Jadhav murder case is pending.

Political background

Ulhasnagar city has been ruled in the name of Pappu Kalani since 1986. The journey that started from the position of Mayor of Ulhasnagar Municipal Council in 1986 led him to become the undisputed MLA of Ulhasnagar city five times. Two of these assembly elections were won by Pappu while he was in jail for the crimes under TADA. From 1990 to 2004, the Kalani family has had undisputed dominance over the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation. In 2009, Pappu was defeated by BJP’s MLA Kumar Ailani. But in 2014, while Pappu was serving a life sentence, his wife Jyoti defeated Ailani and recaptured the Ulhasnagar Assembly. Kumar, however, didn’t give up and defeated Jyoti by just two thousand votes in 2019. Although the Kalani family was defeated in 2019, the late Jyoti Kalani got as many as 41,000 votes.  Pancham, the wife of Omi, was the former Mayor of the Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation.

"Exciting news! Mid-day is now on WhatsApp Channels Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest news!" Click here!

Register for FREE
to continue reading !

This is not a paywall.
However, your registration helps us understand your preferences better and enables us to provide insightful and credible journalism for all our readers.

Mid-Day Web Stories

Mid-Day Web Stories

This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK