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That’s how MLA with Lamborghini drove BJP to victory in Mira-Bhayander civic polls

Narendra Mehta strategically distributed tickets to his activists and adversaries, who have filed public interest litigations and police complaints against him

mumbai Updated: Aug 22, 2017 19:27 IST
Ram Parmar
Ram Parmar
Hindustan Times
Mira-Bhayander,Mumbai,Lamborghini
Narendra Mehta with his wife during her birthday when he gifted her a Lamborghin.

After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trounced its opponents by bagging 61 seats of the 95 in the recently concluded Mira-Bhayander civic polls, MLA Narendra Mehta, whose wife Suman last year hit the headlines by ramming an orange Lamborghini gifted by him into an autorickshaw, has steered the party to a landslide victory. What has changed in the twin cities, which were known as the strongholds of the Nationalist Congress Party and Shiv Sena?

Mehta’s wife with Lamborghini.

Mehta strategically distributed tickets to his activists and adversaries, who have filed public interest litigations and police complaints against him. Although only a few of them won, Mehta was able to quell their protest.

Mehta known as ‘Lamborghini wala’ was also helped by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, who had visited the twin cities thrice, the last one was on August 17 during the campaigning for the civic polls.

Mehta is not new to controversies.

The latest? On January 25, the MLA and five officials of the Mira-Bhayander Municipal Corporation (MBMC) were booked for allegedly demanding a Rs2-crore bribe from Vinod Trivedi, a builder. Mehta has denied the charge.

In addition, Mehta has scores of PILs and complaints registered by the Thane Rural police for allegedly cutting mangroves. In 2002, he was booked by the Anti-Corruption Bureau for allegedly accepting Rs20,000 in bribe. He was acquitted in November last.

In the MBMC election, Mehta started a new trend: he gave tickets to people who were his bete noires. Only Nila Soans, a new entrant in the BJP, won from Ward 8. Soans had filed a PIL in the Bombay high court against Mehta for allegedly firing her son from his school, Seven Eleven Academy.

Another BJP candidate who emerged victorious was Ravi Vyas, who fought from Ward No 7. Vyas had filed a complaint to the MBMC, alleging that the plot on which Seven Eleven Academy stood was reserved for a technical institute. His school is affiliated to the CBSE.

Saji Pappachan is another activist who was given the BJP ticket from Ward 19, said Milan Mhatre of the Mira Bhayander Sangharsh Morcha. Pappachan had filed a PIL in the Bombay high court against Mehta for allegedly destroying mangroves for a school and an upscale hotel on the government land. He had complained against Mehta for hurting religious sentiments during an election. He had also approached the Thane ACB against the MLA for allegedly amassing benami properties. The agency is probing the charges. Pappachan lost the Ward No 19 seat to a Congress candidate.

Mhatre has sought explanation from Fadnavis over distributing tickets to Mehta’s adversaries.

Mehta’s business

Mehta owns an expensive hospital (Seven Eleven) an elite school (Seven Eleven Academy) and is also into the construction of budget houses.

Before being elected as an MLA in 2014, he was a mayor in the MBMC. He was also BJP’s Mira Bhayander chief.

After the BJP victory in the civic polls, Mehta said that he would develop the twin cities and will upgrade civic amenities, including hospital and colleges.

First Published: Aug 22, 2017 19:12 IST