Maharashtra wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may not be able to use the party symbol — Lotus — in the upcoming civic body polls throughout the state, including Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, as the state election commission has initiated process for cancellation of its registration by sending it a notice on August 26. The state election commission has proposed the action against BJP and other parties on failing to submit documents related to Income Tax (IT) and accounts books.
It has asked the ruling political party to submit the requisite documents by September 9 or get ready to face action. Once de-registered the political party will not be able to contest polls on its symbol in the state and will also be deprived of using symbol of its choice, said a senior election commission officer.
Confirming the development, JS Saharia, state election commissioner said they have issued such notices to eight political parties and BJP is one of them. “They have been asked to submit relevant documents within a stipulated time to avoid any action from the commission,” Saharia said.
The other political parties that have received notices are Janata Dal (Secular), All India Forward Block, Lok Janshakti Paksh, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal (United), All India United Democratic Front and Indian Union Muslim League.
Admitting the same, BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said the commission has asked them to submit records related to accounts from 2005 that have created the problem. “We have no issue in submitting old account books but all such information is being stored at party’s central office at New Delhi. The central office has been informed about the notice,” Bhandari told HT.
Recently, the commission has de-registered Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) for similar reasons. The party later paid a fine of Rs 1 lakh and submitted all the documents to get the registration restored.