Relatives of senior leaders make the cut in BJP’s list of 195 candidates for BMC polls

Relatives of senior leaders make the cut in BJP's list of 195 candidates for BMC polls
Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

The BJP will contest for 195 seats out of the total 227 in the forthcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections scheduled on February 21. The list of nominations, however, has raised eyebrows due to the apparent nepotism.

For the first time in two decades, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will contest the civic body elections without a tie-up with ally Shiv Sena.

On January 26, Uddhav had announced that his party would contest the upcoming civic polls in the state all alone, putting to rest speculations about forging of ties with its ally BJP.

Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar declared the list of 195 candidates late last night, leaving 32 seats for its allies.

Today is the last day of filing nominations for polls to India’s richest civic body.

A statement issued by Shelar early today said the BJP has fielded 117 ‘Marathi’ candidates. Some nominations in the list have raised eyebrows as they are related to other party leaders.

Among them is BJP MP Kirit Somaiya’s son Neil, who has been nominated from ward no 108 in Mulund West.

Deepak Thakur, son of Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Women and Child Development Vidya Thakur, will contest from ward no 50 in Goregaon.

Besides, city BJP chief Ashish Shelar’s brother Vinod will contest from ward 51. Vinod is a sitting corporator from Malad, but his ward is now reserved for women.

In Colaba, legislator Raj Purohit’s son Aakash will be the party candidate from ward no 222. Aakash is politically active in the area and was a BJP nominee on BEST committee.

BJP legislator Ameet Satam’s brother-in-law Rohan Rathod will contest from ward no 68 in Andheri West. In the neighbouring Versova, the BJP has nominated Yogiraj Dhabhalkar in ward no 60. He is legislator Bharti Lavekar’s nephew.

“Nepotism has become a norm in politics. Even other parties, including rival Sena, have been accused of it. The BJP, which has been pushing the no corruption and development agenda, could have done things differently. Instead, it fell for the age old practice of pleasing the party’s loyal and senior leaders,” said a political observer.

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