The Bhartiya Janata Party on Wednesday hardened its stance against Chief Minister Ashok Chavan for allegedly submitting incorrect election expenses to the Election Commission.
A delegation of BJP leaders met the State Election Commission seeking the disqualification of the chief minister from his legislative assembly membership.
“The EC should inquire into the matter and cancel the chief minister’s membership as he has submitted false information to the commission,” BJP leader Kirit Somaiyya said.
Chavan, however, insisted that he had not hidden any election expenditure.
“I have already filed details of my expenditure. Neither me or nor my party has paid for the supplements that have appeared in the newspapers mentioned by the BJP. As far as I know, those are not advertisements,” Chavan told HT.
A controversy erupted after a media report that the chief minister had claimed that he spent only Rs 11,379 on advertisements in the print and electronic media. The report also said that there was extensive media coverage including 47 full pages on Chavan, which appeared in dailies but were not marked as advertisements.
The BJP had also met Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla in New Delhi on Monday alleging that Chavan had violated People’s Representative Act by furnishing false information to the EC.
“The EC has assured us that information about this case will be obtained from local authorities. They will seek directives from the CEC on the further course of action,” BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari said.
“The Election Commission should issue a directive to the District Election Officer and local police to initiate criminal action against the CM for camouflaging, cheating, misleading the people, voters and the election commission,” the BJP said in a memorandum submitted to the EC.
This is not the first time that Chavan has been attacked by BJP for his conduct. The BJP had earlier criticised Chavan for announced Rs 5 lakh each to three villages of Bhokar assembly constituency, which gave him maximum votes in the recent elections, for developmental works.