The Election Commission on Thursday issued a show-cause notice to Mumbai chief of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Mangal Prabhat Lodha and Shiv Sena candidate Pandurang Sakpal for his alleged communal remarks during the ongoing Assemply poll campaign.
Lodha on Wednesday at an election rally held in support of Sena’s Sakpal in Mumbai’s Mumbadevi constituency, which has a sizeable Muslim population, hinted that the explosives used for blasts in the early nineties in Mumbai were “manufactured in the lanes within 5 km” of the meeting venue.
He apparently referred to the Dongri and Nagpada areas, inhabited mostly by minorities, while referring to “lanes”.
The EC has taken cognizance of his speech and asked Lodha to explain.
According to Indian Express report, Mumbadevi returning officer Vishwas Gujar said that the EC team present at the meeting had recorded the speech.
Gujar further said that within 48 hrs further course of action will be decided.
Lodha represents the Malabar Hill assembly constituency in Mumbai and also into real estate development. In his ‘offensive’ speech, he also said that the constituency’s current MLA Amin Patel looked after “interests of one particular community”.
According to reports, Shiv Sena youth wing chief Aditya Thackeray also addressed the rally.
Maharashtra will go to polls on October 21. Counting of votes will take place on October 24 and the results will be out on the same day. The five-year term of the Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra expires on November 9.