A day before Mumbai goes to polls, the Shiv Sena alleged that chief minister Devendra Fadnavis violated the poll code of conduct and misused his official position as he gave media interviews after the last date for campaigning.
The party took its complaint to the State Election Commission (SEC) and said it would approach the courts if the SEC fails to take action against the CM. The Sena said if Fadnavis can be allowed, all parties should be permitted to give interviews even a day before the polls.
Sena MP Sanjay Raut said, “The chief minister is giving a series of interviews, with a lotus pinned on his lapel. This is misuse of the administration’s rights and violation of the code of conduct.”
The State Election Commissioner, JS Saharia, however, said, there were no restrictions on interviews. “Advertisements in print, electronic and social media have been banned after 5.30pm on February 19. There are no restrictions on the interviews and news reports of any sorts. We will examine if any complaint is registered for the use of the party symbol by the chief minister during his interviews.”
BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari maintained this was not a violation of the poll code. “The chief minister is a senior politician and is aware of dos and donts. Even then, if anyone complaints, it will be dealt with procedurally,” Bhandari said, adding the Sena had the mentality of a loser.
The Sena, which has been directly targeting Fadnavis during campaigning, took one last shot at the CM, calling him a liar and taunting him for the poor turnout at his Pune rally, calling it an evidence of him steadily losing support.
In the party’s mouthpiece, Saamana, the Sena on Monday said, “Every day, there is a new lie being spoken in the name of Mumbai. Who are these liars? The state’s honourable Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. His chief ministership is safe only on the back of the Shiv Sena.”
The party further taunted Fadnavis saying if the Shiv Sena decides to withdraw support, the chief minister will not even have the goodwill and support of the public, as was and evident in his rallies in Nashik and Pune.
“Pune is the country’s cultural capital. By boycotting uncultured parties, Pune has preserved its highest standards of culture,” the Sena said in the editorial.
The Sena also said if the development that the BJP keeps harping on had indeed been visible to the public’s, Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi would have won popular support without even having to come out of their houses.
“But because there has been no actual work, wherever the chief minister goes he is greeted by lines of empty chairs,” the Sena said.