The recovery of 5,000 blank ration card covers in CBD-Belapur has led to a political blame game in Thane constituency.
Shiv Sena candidate from the constituency has accused the opposition of trying to rig the elections by bogus voting.
The police on Thursday raided a photocopy centre and a screen printing unit in CBD-Belapur following a tip-off from local Shiv Sena leaders and arrested five people and seized 5,000 blank ration card covers and screen printing material.
“We have found objectionable printing material pertaining to ration card covers,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ashok Dudhe.
Local Shiv Sena leader Shirish Gharat and other party workers were present during the raids at Bhoomi Stationers and Xerox at Casablanca building in Sector 11 and the screen printing unit at Gauri Complex.
“We found original voters’ list at the copy centre. Copies of it were being made. It was to be used to find out the voters not present so that bogus ration cards in their names could be made,” alleged Navi Mumbai Sena chief and party candidate from Thane, Vijay Chougule (47).
Blaming his rivals, Chougule added: “They cannot defeat me in the election fairly and hence are resorting to such tactics.”
The five accused — Ramesh Patel (30), Shivaji Kamane (31), Dinesh Patel, Pradeep Maurya and Vineet Goud — have been booked for forging a public document for personal use. The police are on the look out for Santosh Mhatre, who the accused alleged, had ordered the order for printing.
“I had received the order from one Santosh Mhatre, whom I know from the past one month. I had made a delivery of 60,000 covers and 10,000 had to be delivered,” said Ramesh Patel, the owner of Bhoomi Stationers.