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These affidavits defy all logic

mumbai Updated: Feb 08, 2012 01:27 IST
Kunal Purohit

The lifestyle of 71-year-old Hira Pavale, a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena candidate from ward no. 226 in Cuffe Parade, would stump anyone, though it would also make the person turn green with envy. In her affidavit, Pavale has stated that she is a fish-seller, but she's probably the only fish-seller in Mumbai whose assets total to Rs 8.43 crore.

This does not include the two trucks she owns or the Toyota Fortuner she zips around in. Pavale's residential address is in Colaba's elite 3rd Pasta Lane, and she owns three shops in Vashi. However, she owns only an 850 sq ft pad in Dombivli.

In the case of Shiv Sena candidate Pramod Sawant, it is certainly not a problem of excess. Sawant, a businessman, is bogged down by debts, if his affidavit is anything to go by. Sawant claims to have assets of around Rs 8 lakh, a Mahindra Xylo and 280 grams of gold. But his loans and liabilities are almost eight times that amount at Rs 60 lakh.

Fellow Sena leader and two-time corporator Rahul Shewale, who is the chairman of the civic standing committee, which controls all big expenditures made by the civic body, lists his assets at Rs 1.87 lakh in addition to 300 grams of gold. Neither he nor his wife owns a house or a car.

Another Sena candidate, Ganesh Sanap, has no car either, but he owns an ambulance. This contestant from ward no. 224 (Indira docks and Mahatma Phule market), however, owns only a shanty near St George hospital, which is worth Rs 4 lakh. The ambulance that Sanap, a printing press owner, bought in 2011 costs Rs 7 lakh.

The affidavit filed by contestant Hemlata Keni makes her political leanings incomprehensible. In the space left for her party's name, she has written Indian National Congress, but her second preference for a symbol, after the palm, is the lotus, the Bharatiya Janata Party's symbol.

Denied a Congress ticket, Keni will fight as an Independent from ward no. 225 in Colaba.

A two-time Congress corporator, on condition of anonymity, said: "Hiding or revealing information in the affidavits can make or break our next five years. No wonder then that you see discrepancies and logic-defying information."