The city’s richest candidate has lost the municipal elections — his first loss after serving the civic body for a decade. Rajesh Sharma of the Bharatiya Janata Party contesting from Andheri MIDC ward number 73 had declared assets worth Rs 23 crore.
"I lost because parties like the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) openly distributed money to voters," Sharma alleged. He lost to Clive Dias of the Congress.
"The Congress played communal politics in the ward," he added. A two-time BJP corporator, Sharma had won the elections in 1997 and 2002.
"The NCP spent more than Rs 1.5 crore by various means and distributed money to the poor. The Muslims, Christians and the Scheduled Caste voters had been united by the Congress and the BJP. But these people ganged up against the BJP although I did a lot of civic work in the area," he alleged.
A former BEST chairman, Sharma said he lost the election by around 1,000 votes only. In the ward, the Congress got the maximum votes, followed by the NCP and then the BJP. It was only possible because of the communal politics and money distribution that was done by these two parties, he alleged. A former deputy mayor, Sharma said he will continue to work in the area.
Sharma’s affidavit before the election commission reveals that his assets were worth Rs 23.41 crore. Sharma said the figure includes properties and cash of members of his joint family that includes grandfather, parents, two brothers and their families. Sharma said he alone is worth Rs 5.75 crore only.
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