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Pune car crash: Congress demands CBI probe, says Fadnavis must resign

The Maharashtra Congress on Tuesday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the Pune car crash incident and said Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis should step down, reported the PTI. Two IT professionals lost their lives when a Porsche allegedly driven by a 17-year-old in an inebriated state crashed into their bike them in the Kalyani Nagar area of Pune city in Maharashtra on May 19. The incident sparked outrage after the Juvenile Justice Board granted bail to the teenager and asked him to write an essay on road accidents, but he was later sent to an observation home till June 5. The police have since arrested the teenager's father, grandfather, and Dr Ajay Taware, head of the Forensic Medicine department of the Sassoon General Hospital and its chief medical officer, Dr Shrihari Halnor, for allegedly manipulating the blood samples of the juvenile, according to the PTI. Addressing a press conference in Mumbai, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole alleged that the Sassoon General Hospital was a five-star hotel for criminals, the news agency reported. Nana Patole said that while the state is reeling under severe drought, instances of drunken driving and drugs are on the rise. "Such incidents have been reported in Nagpur, Jalgaon and Pune, but what is infuriating is that efforts were made through the government system to ensure that the privileged accused get immediate bail," the Maharashtra Congress leader alleged. The CBI must investigate the car crash case as there seems to be political interference to save the rich accused, he said. He further alleged that the juvenile involved in the car crash was accompanied by an MLA's son. Demanding the deputy chief minister's resignation, Patole claimed in Fadavis's hometown Nagpur, two girls crushed two youngsters to death with their car and got bail within 10 hours and said a similar incident was reported in Jalgaon, where an attempt was made to save the accused. "Illegal drug racket is operating in Pune. Illegal pubs are rampant in Pune and Nagpur. After the car accident case, 36 illegal pubs in Pune had to be demolished. The BJP has ruined the youth by bringing large quantities of drugs from Gujarat to Maharashtra," he alleged. "A minister and an MLA recommended that Dr Taware should be made the superintendent. People should know their names. The interference of the ruling party has increased, and criminals are roaming freely in the city. A tehsildar was fatally attacked in Indapur. From where do criminals get so much courage? It cannot happen without political blessings," Nana Patole claimed. Following the arrest of Sassoon General Hospital's Dr Ajay Taware in the car crash case, a 2023 letter written by NCP MLA Sunil Tingre has surfaced, in which he recommended the doctor be given an additional charge of medical superintendent. Nana Patole leader also claimed that the BJP plans to introduce Manusmriti in the curriculum for schools, but Congress will not let this happen. "Women have no place in Manusmriti. An attempt to replace the Constitution with Manusmriti will never succeed," he said. (with PTI inputs)

28 May,2024 07:14 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
The derailed train on Tuesday. Pic/Anand Patil

Trains on Mumbai-Surat section affected after goods train derails in Palghar

Train services on the UP line of the Mumbai-Surat section has been affected due to the derailment of several wagons from a goods train at Palghar Yard, an official said. The incident occurred around 5:08 pm on Tuesday at point numbers 117/118, he said. The derailment has caused considerable disruption to the movement of trains on the section. UP line of #Mumbai - #Surat section has been affected due to derailment of wagons of a goods trains at point no 117/118 at #Palghar yard at around 17.08 hrs. Restoration work is in progress. Video via: @rajtoday — Mid Day (@mid_day) May 28, 2024 Restoration efforts commenced immediately after the incident was reported. "UP line of Mumbai - Surat section has been affected due to derailment of wagons of a goods trains at point no 117/118 at Palghar yard at around 17.08 hrs. The restoration work is in progress, the CPRO of Western Railway said. The officials said that the ART from Nandurbar, Udhna, Bandra Terminus and Valsad were sent. Meanwhile, 12936 Surat - Mumbai Intercity terminated was short terminated at Vapi and 16505 Gandhidham - SBC Exp, 12432 Nizamuddin - Trivendram Rajdhani Express and 19260 Bhavnagar - Kochuveli Express was diverted via Surat - Udhna - Jalgaon - Kalyan, the officials said. Repercussions on Suburban The officials said that at six UP and five Down Dahanu locals were cancelled. One Down direction Dahanu local has been short terminated at Virar. Short termination of trains  1.    09160 Valsad -Bandra terminus Umbargaon Road  2.    09186 Kanpur - Mumbai Central  at Sachin 3.    09056 Udhna - Bandra Terminus at Bhilad  4.    12936 Surat - Bandra Terminus at Vapi  5.    19426 Nandurbar - -Borivali Exp at Valdad 6.    19102 Surat -Virar Exp at Bilimora 7.    09180 Surat - Virar at Udhna Helpline numbers Vapi: 0260 2462341 Surat Station: 0261-2401797 Udhna Station:  022-67641801

28 May,2024 06:08 PM IST | Mumbai | Rajendra B. Aklekar
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Thane teen strangled, stabbed to death; case registered

A case has been filed against unnamed individuals for the suspected murder of a 17-year-old girl in Thane, Maharashtra. Tejaswini Manoj Razak was found dead in a chawl in Taricha Pada, Kolshet, on the night of May 24, police said on Tuesday. A post-mortem found ligature signs and stab wounds on the girl's neck, prompting the police to file a case under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code on Monday, reported PTI.  The news agency further stated, the victim, who lived alone, was strangled and fatally stabbed. The Kapurbawdi police are presently investigating the incident. 25 booked after clash between two groups In another incident from Thane district, according to the PTI, police arrested approximately 25 individuals after two groups clashed over a minor problem during a religious parade in Maharashtra's Thane district on Tuesday. The police have filed a complaint against 25 people, they claimed. According to the PTI, no arrests have been made in connection with the event that occurred on Monday night in Saravali village, Bhiwandi, Thane district, Maharashtra. The parties clashed over hurling gulal during a religious procession around 9.30 pm on Monday, an official told the news agency.  According to the PTI, a case has been registered against the suspects under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), and other relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and Maharashtra Police Act, and further investigations are underway. Man injured in sword attack in Thane district; five booked Meanwhile, in Thane, a case was filed against five people for allegedly attacking a guy with a sword and wounding him over a dispute, according to the PTI. According to an official, the event occurred on Sunday night at Ulhasnagar township, Thane district, Maharashtra. According to the PTI, the police have registered a First Information Report (FIR) against the five accused under relevant laws of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Arms Act, and Maharashtra Police Act. They have not yet been detained. On Tuesday, an official identified the victim as Rohitsingh Sunilsingh Labana. Rohitsingh was on a motorbike with one of his friends when he was attacked by the suspects. While riding his bike with a friend, the suspect allegedly intercepted the vehicle and pulled him over. According to the official, they later attacked him with a sword, as reported by the news agency. The victim's companion, who was riding the two-wheeler, transported him to a local hospital, he claimed. The official stated that further investigation into the incident is underway.

28 May,2024 06:05 PM IST | Thane | mid-day online correspondent
Water dripping inside the Mumbai Coastal Road Tunnel. Pic/ PTI

Eknath Shinde visits Mumbai Coastal Road after reports of seepage surface

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde visited the Mumbai Coastal Road on Thursday to look into the matter of leakages in the tunnel of the road. Talking about the proposed solution to the leaks, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that polymer grouting will be done on all 25 joints of the Mumbai Coastal Road tunnel. Though there are only few such faulty joints, the solution will be done for all the joints of the fuctional arm of the tunnel.  As per the CM, on Monday of Project head and Additional Municial Commissioner Dr.Amit Saini and a team of experts from L&T visited the site to inspect the leaks.  "The leakage is in only a few joints of the tunnel. However, the moss caused by the leakage has spread" said CM Shinde in an address to the media. He said that all joints will be checked will be checked and added that a fool-proof and permanent solution will be proposed on consultation of additional experts to avoid the problem in the future. The CM claimed that the traffic movement has not been affected due to the leakages.  Since Sunday morning, water could be seen dripping from the tunnels' roofs, and the walls had several dark areas where paint had chipped off owing to humidity. Drip lines had formed from the dark areas to the floor, and the border of the holes was plainly damp. Water had gathered on the coastal road near the Marine Drive end of the tunnel, around 100 metres from its departure.  Cracks surface on Mumbai Coastal Road pedestrian underpass Since Sunday morning, water could be seen dripping from the tunnels' roofs, and the walls had several dark areas where paint had chipped off owing to humidity. Drip lines had formed from the dark areas to the floor, and the border of the holes was plainly damp. Water had gathered on the coastal road near the Marine Drive end of the tunnel, around 100 metres from its departure.  Cracks surface on Mumbai Coastal Road pedestrian underpass The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is still seeking an answer to the tidal water entering Coastal Road’s pedestrian underpass at Haji Ali. Meanwhile, the official concerned said that the cracks on the road near the tunnels seem normal due to the shrinking of cement and it will be taken care of. The issue surfaced after photos of Haji Ali underpass and cracks went viral on social media. The photos of tidal water entering Haji Ali pedestrian underpass (PUP) caused a flutter when the access of the dargah also went underwater during a high tide of 4.9 metres between 11.45 am and 2.30 pm. An ‘X’ handle, Haji Ali Dargah Trust’s (Official), stated on social media, “Since the last year we have been following up with the BMC, the coastal road department, and L&T to solve this problem but till today, there has been no action…’  When contacted, a civic official from the coastal road department told mid-day, “On days of high tide, seawater enters the underpass, necessitating its closure. The level of the underpass cannot be raised as it has to be on the same level as the Haji Ali pathway. Still, measures like creating a hump at the mouth of the pedestrian underpass, a stormwater drain and a pumping arrangement will solve the issue to some extent during monsoon. The work is currently ongoing. Civic activist Zoru Bhathena posted photographs of the flooded PUP and cracks on the road near the tunnels on social media. “The pathway of the dargah used to flood during high tide but it would drain itself. But now, owing to the PUP, it does not happen," he said. The 10-km Coastal Road features around 20 PUPs providing pedestrian access to various locations. The BMC officials said that the cracks are usual on cement roads due to the shrinking of a concrete slab. If the cracks are deeper, then chemical treatment is necessary. We will look into it and the issue will be resolved soon. The road was partially opened on March 12 from Worli to Nariman Point, which created traffic bottlenecks at various junctions.

28 May,2024 05:49 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
CM Shinde during a press briefing. Pic/CMO

Maha govt asks civic bodies to form disaster response teams ahead of monsoon

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Tuesday asked the civic bodies in the state to form their own disaster management teams ahead of monsoon in state, reported the PTI. The disaster management teams would operate as first responders in situations such as landslides or floods during the monsoon. CM Eknath Shinde chaired a meeting of district collectors, divisional commissioners, representatives from the defence forces, railways and police as well as the NDRF and SDRF ahead of the rainy season. "Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has formed its own Thane Disaster Response Force which will be locally stationed. It will be able to reach a disaster site in a short time which could be helpful in rescuing people and saving lives," he told reporters in Mumbai afterwards, reported the PTI. "Similar teams can be formed in every district, as well as by the civic bodies. They can be given training on how to respond to a critical situation," CM Shinde said. As per a statement issued by the chief minister's office, the southwest monsoon is expected to reach Mumbai by June 10 or 11, and cover the entire state in the next four days. Meanwhile, the officials have been asked to remove illegal hoardings across the state, and the norms fixed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) can be used while allowing new hoardings elsewhere in the state too, it said. The directive came in the wake of the crash of a hoarding in Ghatkopar earlier this month, leading to the death of at least 17 persons. The huge hoarding had collapsed on a petrol pump in Ghatkopar following which a massive rescue operation was launched by multiple agencies. A dust storm followed by rain had hit Mumbai earlier this month. Ahead of the monsoon in Maharashtra, as many as 486 spots across the state have been identified as vulnerable to landslides, the CMO statement further said. To deal with floods caused by interstate rivers during the monsoon, a coordination committee of officials of the Maharashtra government as well as those from neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka has been formed, it said. (with PTI inputs)

28 May,2024 05:33 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Porsche involved in accident where two motorbike-borne engineers lost their lives earlier this month. Pic/PTI

Pune car crash: NCP MLA's old recommendation letter for arrested doc surfaces

Following the arrest of Dr Ajay Taware, a doctor at Sassoon General Hospital, in connection with the Pune car crash, an old endorsement letter from NCP MLA Sunil Tingre surfaced. The letter, dated December 2023, suggested Dr Taware for the additional role of medical superintendent. Dr Taware, the head of the Forensic Medicine department, together with Dr Shrihari Halnor, the chief medical officer, and staffer Atul Ghatkamble, were arrested by Pune police. They are suspected of tampering with evidence in a Pune car crash on May 19, in which a speeding Porsche, allegedly driven by an intoxicated 17-year-old, killed two IT professionals in Kalyani Nagar. According to the police, doctors changed the juvenile's blood samples with those of another individual to ensure there was no evidence of alcohol. According to reports, MLA Tingre interfered to assure the juvenile's fair treatment, although a top official stated that Tingre's presence had no influence on the probe in the Pune car crash. Tingre's letter, addressed to state medical education minister Hasan Mushrif, lauded Dr Taware's previous performance, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mushrif's handwritten comment on the letter asked the hospital dean to consider Pune car crash accused Taware for the additional position, stressing that the present superintendent did not satisfy the qualifications. "I request you to kindly consider giving the additional charge of medical superintendent to Taware," the letter stated. In a response, Tingre defended the advice, noting that it was common practice to produce such letters for various public requests and that they always included a note for steps to be performed following the rules. Tingre expressed faith in the justice system and hoped the investigation on the Pune car crash would shed light on the matter. "As a public representative, many people approach me for recommendation letters for various reasons such as school admissions, medical treatment, and job transfers. Each recommendation letter includes a note that action should be taken according to the rules, and the department concerned acts only if the request is appropriate," he stated. "I have full faith in the justice system, and I believe things will get clear at the end of an enquiry," he said. 

28 May,2024 03:46 PM IST | Pune | mid-day online correspondent
Arvind Sawant, Sena (UBT) MP

Sena (UBT) MP Arvind Sawant accuses centre of blocking MTNL, BSNL 4G/5G services

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Arvind Sawant has accused the central government of delaying MTNL and BSNL from launching 4G and 5G services, causing major customer losses. Sawant published a letter dated 21 May 2024 from Neeraj Mittal, Secretary of the Ministry of Communications, to the secretaries of all central government ministries as well as the chief secretaries of all states and union territories on X. The letter proposes monetising MTNL and BSNL's surplus land and building assets, reported PTI.  According to the report, the letter said, "The Union Cabinet in 2019 approved the revival plan of BSNL/MTNL which also includes monetization of its surplus land/building assets. BSNL has assets spread across the country and MTNL has properties located in Mumbai and Delhi. Most of the properties are at prime locations. The properties are offered through outright sale to government departments, PSUs and government organisations." Sawant, an MP from Mumbai South, questioned the letter's timing, noting that the model code of conduct remains in place owing to the impending Lok Sabha Elections 2024. He attacked the delay since the 2019 revitalization plan, claiming that it indicates an intentional undermining of BSNL and MTNL, the report added.  BSNL/MTNL properties up for sale.Oh ! What a timing of this letter !When Code Of Conduct is still existing how can a Secretary issue such letter ?Why he should not be questioned what he was doing since 2019 and he must answer it.It's nothing but strangulation of BSNL &… — Arvind Sawant (@AGSawant) May 27, 2024 "BSNL/MTNL properties up for sale. Oh! What a timing of this letter! When the Code Of Conduct is still existing how can a Secretary issue such letter? Why he should not be questioned about what he was doing since 2019 and he must answer it. It's nothing but strangulation of BSNL & MTNL and sabotage too. Under the pretext of Atmnirbhar, they did not allow #BSNL / #MTNL to launch 4G/5G services causing the loss of a huge number of customers & incurring huge losses. Mentally & Physically Corrupt, Careless and Destructive Govt. This is the way they Render Services to their Friends," said Sawant in his social media post. 

28 May,2024 03:44 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
Thane Municipal Corporation. File Photo

Thane civic body identifies over 4,000 dangerous buildings amid monsoon prep

In preparation for the monsoon season, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has identified over 4,000 unsafe and old buildings in Thane city. Residents in several of these buildings have been told to leave their houses. According to TMC spokesperson Ravindra Manjrekar, 4,297 hazardous buildings have been identified across the city's numerous wards. Mumbra ward has the most unsafe structures, with 1,340, followed by Wagle Estate (1,101), Diwa (654), and Kopri-Naupada (433), reported PTI.  According to the report, 86 of these buildings are designated as C-1, which means they are unsafe and untenable and must be abandoned and demolished. Twenty-one of these structures have already been evacuated. Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has urged Thane civic body authorities to hasten the evacuation and relocation of inhabitants from these hazardous buildings ahead of the monsoon season, the report added. TMC chief held a meeting to review monsoon prep Earlier in March, the newly-appointed Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) Commissioner Saurabh Rao held a high-level pre-monsoon review meeting on Wednesday evening as a proactive measure to maintain the city's resilience ahead of the monsoon season and directed officials to keep the preventive measures in place, according to an official statement. During the discussion, TMC commissioner Saurabh Rao had emphasised on the significance of completing the drain cleaning tender process and beginning cleaning work in the municipal area by April 15. He also underlined the importance of devising an action plan to solve the problem of excess construction voids, which maintains structural integrity in the face of heavy rainfall. He had ordered an emergency inspection of 86 severely unsafe structures on Municipal Corporation property, emphasising the importance of immediate action, including evacuation if necessary. Commissioner Rao had said there was a need for public awareness initiatives to address concerns about unsafe buildings and advised individuals to report any symptoms of structural weakness immediately. He emphasised a humanitarian approach to dealing with each building, assuring the tenants' safety and well-being. Meanwhile, to improve emergency response capabilities, the TMC Commissioner had directed that all major officers and emergency staff keep their mobile phones on and in constant communication.  Rao also went to the Data Centre, an important part of the city's emergency management infrastructure. He detailed intentions to expand its use to enable faster alerts in emergency scenarios. Furthermore, arrangements for a professional coordinator from Mahavitaran and the police during the monsoon season were considered to ensure flawless coordination.

28 May,2024 03:44 PM IST | Thane | mid-day online correspondent
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Kirti Vyas murder case: Mumbai court sentences 2 accused to life imprisonment

A sessions court in Mumbai on Tuesday sentenced two former staffers of a salon chain to life imprisonment in the 2018 Kirti Vyas murder case. The body of the 28-year-old Kirti Vyas has not been found yet. The quantum of sentence of two convicts in the Kirti Vyas murder case was announced on Tuesday. In the hearing on Monday, the two were found guilty in Kirti Vyas murder case.  Reports stated that Additional Sessions Judge MG Deshpande on Monday had held the convicts--Siddhesh Tamhankar and Khushi Sahjwani, his accomplice--guilty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence).  Tamhankar and Sahjwani, who worked as account executives and managers at an Andheri salon chain, reported to Vyas, the financial manager, the investigation states. Vyas was allegedly killed after writing a memo to one of the accused about poor performance. Vyas disappeared on March 16, 2018. Her relatives reported her missing to the DB Marg police station after they were unable to locate her using CCTV footage from Grant Road and Mumbai Central railway stations. Vyas was last seen boarding the Virar-bound train at 9:11 am from Grant Road in Andheri, according to the report. According to the PTI report, the Kirti Vyas murder case was later handed to the Crime Branch, which nabbed Tamhankar and Sahjwani. Police solved the case by conducting DNA testing on blood recovered in a car related to one of the defendants and allegedly used in the Kirti Vyas murder case. Further details awaited

28 May,2024 02:28 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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Labourer killed, 2 others injured as dumper runs over them in Thane

A labourer was killed and two other persons were injured when a dumper ran over them at the Samruddhi Expressway construction site in Maharashtra's Thane district, police said on Tuesday, reported news agency PTI. The incident took place at around 11.30 pm on Sunday near the Washala bridge in Kasara area of the district, they said. The labourers working at the construction site were sleeping on a roadside when the dumper which was passing by from there ran over them, an official from Kasara police station said, reported PTI. The deceased has been identified as Ashok Jadhav (50). His 22-year-old son and a woman aged 60 were injured in the incident, the police said, reported PTI. After being alerted, police reached the spot. They sent the body to a government hospital for postmortem and rushed the injured persons to a local hospital where they were undergoing treatment, the official said, reported PTI. An FIR has been since registered against the dumper driver under relevant provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Motor Vehicles Act, they said, adding that no arrest has been made so far. In another incident, police have registered a case against the driver of a dumper truck in connection with the death of its cleaner following an accident involving the vehicle in Maharashtra's Navi Mumbai, an official said on Monday, reported PTI. The incident took place on May 23 evening when the accused was taking the vehicle for repairs, the official from Panvel Town police station said. At a road turning towards Kalamboli, the driver heard a scratching sound from the wheels. Upon checking, he found a stone was stuck in one of the wheels and sought help of the 54-year-old cleaner to remove it, reported PTI. While the cleaner was removing the stone from the wheel, the accused allegedly moved the dumper, crushing the former, the official said, reported PTI. The victim was badly injured and died on way to hospital, he said. After being alerted, the police reached the spot and sent the body to a local hospital for postmortem, reported PTI. Based on a complaint by a relative of the deceased, the police on Sunday registered a case against the dumper driver under Indian Penal Code sections 304 (A) (causing death by negligence), 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 ((causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, the official said. (With inputs from PTI)

28 May,2024 12:33 PM IST | Thane | mid-day online correspondent
MNS chief Raj Thackeray. Pic/Anurag Ahire

MNS to contest Maharashtra Council polls independently, says party leaders

The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), which supported the Mahayuti alliance in the India General Elections 2024, has opted to run independently in the next legislative council elections. A party leader stated that the decision was made since the issues at hand were state-related. The MNS announced on Monday that film director Abhijit Panse would be their candidate for the Konkan Graduates constituency in the upcoming legislative council elections on June 26. This seat is presently held by Niranjan Davkhare of the BJP, reported PTI.  Earlier, MNS president Raj Thackeray declared full support for the ruling Mahayuti alliance, which includes the BJP, Shiv Sena, and NCP, in the India General Elections 2024. Per the report, at a press conference, Avinash Jadhav, the MNS's chairman for Palghar and Thane, remarked, "The support MNS gave to the Mahayuti in the Lok Sabha polls was to see Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister again. Now, this is the election for the state council, where the issues are local and related to the state. Hence, the party has decided to go solo." Panse, the MNS candidate, accused previous MLCs of neglecting the constituency's graduates during the last 12 years. He expressed confidence in the party's prospects, pointing out that approximately 35,000 voters have been registered thus far. Due to the expiration of the present members' mandates in July, four legislative council seats are being filled through biennial elections: Mumbai Graduates, Konkan Graduates, Mumbai Teachers, and Nashik Teachers, the news agency report stated.  The BJP has yet to announce candidates for these elections. Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena, led by Uddhav Thackeray, has nominated MLC Anil Parab and party functionary J M Abhyankar for the Mumbai Graduates and Teachers constituencies. Maharashtra Legislative Council polls on June 10 The Election Commission of India has ruled that elections for four seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Council will take place on June 10. According to the official statement, the votes will be counted on June 13. According to the source, the current Legislative Council (MLCs) will complete its six-year term on July 7. The seats up for election include Mumbai's teachers' and graduates' constituencies, which are now represented by Kapil Patil (Lok Bharati) and Vilas Potnis (Shiv Sena (UBT), respectively, according to the news agency.

28 May,2024 12:20 PM IST | Mumbai | mid-day online correspondent
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