On the eve of the mayoral elections, the Shiv Sena faces embarrassment in the form of its candidate for the mayor’s post, Vishwanath Mahadeshwar, who is accused of grabbing a flat and drawing salary from a college while contesting the civic elections.
The mayoral polls will be held on Wednesday. After a hard-fought battle, the Sena leadership was relieved as the BJP has decided not to field candidate and will offer outside support to the Sena nominee. But the relief turned out to be short-lived.
After Mahendra Pawar, who fought against Mahadeshwar in the recent civic election as an independent candidate, filed a case in the small causes court, alleging a flat in Kalina where Mahadeshwar lives was meant for BMC employees and has been bought illegally, its owner, Gajanan Pandit, also came out and alleged on Tuesday that the Sena mayoral candidate forcibly bought the flat in 2001 and is not a tenant. “Mahadeshwar has been saying he is a tenant, but he isn’t. Where are the cheques to show he has been paying rent? I was forced to sell my flat in 2001 and Mahadeshwar bought it for a mere Rs4.75 lakh, ” said Pandit, who was an employee with the BMC for 40 years.
Mahadeshwar has also been accused of drawing salary from a government-aided college while he contested elections. Congress candidate Dharmesh Vyas, who finished third in the election from ward 87 has also filed a petition in the court, contending Mahadeshwar has submitted a false affidavit. “Mahadeshwar is ineligible to contest mayoral elections because he has suppressed the information he was drawing salary from the school, where he is principal. He had asked for votes on the grounds of being an educationist and school principal,” said Vyas.
He said, “Election rules and provisions of the Maharashtra Employees of the Private Schools Act require taking prior permission from the government before contesting the polls and stepped down from his post. But he hasn’t and this is ground for disqualification.”
Both the allegations are serious and if proven, would turn into a legal problem for the Sena’s mayor candidate and can also lead to disqualification, which will cause embarrassment to the Sena.
Mahadeshwar remained unavailable for comment even after repeated attempts.
“All the allegations against him [Mahadeshwar] are misguiding. We will answer everyone after the mayor elections,” said Yashwant Jadhav, who will be the Sena’s new group leader in the civic body.