‘Cashless’ propagator BJP surely believes in the magic of the moolah.  Reportedly, State BJP president Raosaheb Danve told an eager crowd at a state rally not to refuse ‘Lakshmi’ if she does come a day ahead of the elections. He was probably inspired by RSP president Mahadev Jankar who's already courting controversy for violation of the election code...

After Jankar, state BJP president Raosaheb Danve violates poll code

Following on the footsteps of Rashtriya Samaj Paksha (RSP) president and Minister for Dairy Development, Mahadev Jankar, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president, Raosaheb Danve, too yesterday courted controversy for his remarks at an election rally in Paithan near Aurangbad. Danve is reported to have allegedly asked voters not to refuse “Laxmi” (money) if she comes a day ahead of the elections. Opposition Congress and Samajwadi Party have demanded action against Danve. While sources in the State Election Commission of Maharashtra (SECM) disclosed that the local Aurangabad district collector and election returning officer is supposed to take action on the basis of the complaint filed.

Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) spokesperson, Sachin Sawant, and Samajwadi Party Maharashtra president, Abu Asim Azmi, have demanded that Danve be booked for violation of the model code of conduct. Minister for Dairy Development, Mahadev Jankar, is already facing the heat for his alleged attempt to pressurise local election official over telephone into treating a Congress candidate as an Independent candidate in a civic ward, in the election to Desaiganj municipal council. Jankar is now facing a court case in the matter. The SECM has since countermanded the election to that ward and called for fresh election. However, Jankar has denied having tried to influence the election official.

Meanwhile, there is more trouble for Danve in the offing with social activists Dr. Vishwambhar Choudhari and Anjali Damania dashing off letters to SECM demanding a thorough probe into Danve's controversial remarks and issue show-cause notice to the BJP. The activists argued that the state BJP president's statement amounts toasking people to take bribes ahead of the elections which is not only un-democratic, corrupt statement but is also a blatant violation of the Election Commissions model code of conduct.They said that the statement requires to be examined in the context of Prevention of Corruption Act and Representation of the people Act too.

Meanwhile, the voter turn out for the third phase of Municipal Councils elections, in which voting took place in 21 Municipal Councils and two Nagar Panchayats in districts of Aurangabad, Nanded, Bhandara and Gadchiroli till 3 pm was just 44 per cent. However, the SECM officials claimed that the tentative average polling percentage was likely to touch around 59 per cent at the end of polling in the evening. Election is taking place in two districts of Aurangabad and Nanded in Marathwada region and Bhandara and Gadchiroli districts of Vidharbha region. There are 2,231 candidates in the fray for 410 seats. Whereas there are 111 candidates for the direct elections to the 19 posts of municipal council president in these civic bodies.

According to report of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), there are 90 candidates in the fray who are crorepatis and have declared their financial assets in excess of crore of rupees. The richest of them all happens to be Ganesh Jaikisan Fafat who is contesting from Desaiganj municipal council. He has declared the net worth of his financial assets and liabilities to be at Rs 6.62 crore.

In Aurangabad and Nanded districts of Marathwada region the real test of nerves is upon state BJP president-Raosaheb Danve, MPCC president-Ashok Chavan, Shiv Sena Lok Sabha MP-Chandrakant Khaire, MIM's Imtiaz Jaleel among others. The Bhandara district happens to be the stronghold of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel.

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