Rival Senas claim attempts being made to influence voters in Mumbai

Polling in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies will be held on Monday

Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde | PTI Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde | PTI

On the eve of Lok Sabha polls in Mumbai, both Shiv Senas, one headed by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the other by Uddhav Thackeray claimed on Sunday that attempts were being made to influence voters.

Polling in 13 Lok Sabha constituencies, including six in Mumbai, will be held on Monday in the fifth and last phase of general elections in the state.

Sena (UBT) leader Aaditya Thackeray shared on X an invitation by Lodha Foundation' which said that state minister and BJP leader Mangal Prabhat Lodha wished to interact with the people of an apartment in south Mumbai to learn about their civic issues.

In his post, Thackeray also targeted the Election Commission (EC), saying, ...not expecting much action from you, but still trying to open your eyes.

He claimed that Mumbai is seeing a proxy campaign by the guardian minister (Lodha) in Dheeraj Apartments, Peddar Road. An invite has been sent to Prem Court, Maheshwari Niketan, and Anand Darshan in the name of Lodha Foundation to know their issues, Thackeray said.

This is nothing but a proxy campaign, a day before elections. We wonder if you (EC) will step in and rein him in, or are you okay with other candidates visiting the same place at the same time to know the issues' or convey their issues to the visiting MLA, he asked.

Why should the building presidents or secretaries not be booked for this crime? This is a blatant violation of the poll code, and if it does not stop, we will also visit and convey local issues to him at the same place, he said.

The Shinde-led Sena's secretary and spokesperson Kiran Pawaskar accused Sena UBT of pressuring Muslims to influence elections through banners and posters and using maulvis' (Islamic teachers) for campaigning.

Posters are being put up in Mumbai asking people to ensure Narendra Modi doesn't become the prime minister, creating societal divisions. An FIR has been registered at JJ Marg police station on a complaint by the Shiv Sena against the organisation responsible for creating communal strife, he said.

For the past year, Pawaskar said, Sena (UBT) leader Sanjay Raut has been predicting riots before the elections.

Why was he saying this? Pakistani flag is seen during the campaign of Sena UBT's candidate, Pawaskar said, demanding police action and inquiry to find out if Raut and Uddhav Thackeray were the masterminds and whether they received foreign funds.

A complaint has been filed with the central and state election authorities Raut, he said.

Pawaskar said one of their leaders from south Mumbai has filed a police complaint regarding an objectionable poster put up at Sabu Siddique Hospital, Imam Wada Road and Dongri.

These posters claim that mosques are being demolished and dargahs are being shut. If this is not happening, why put up such posters? he asked.

He alleged a conspiracy behind these false claims and claimed involvement of Sena UBT in it. The organisation Jamnagar Halal Memon Jamaat has reportedly issued a letter of cooperation to Sena UBT, he added.


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