Party importing corrupt politicians for BMC polls, say BJP leaders

New Delhi, May 31 (IANS) Cracks appear to deepen in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as some of its leaders have accused the party of inducting corrupt and tainted politicians from other parties in order to fund its campaign for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections scheduled for next month.

Mumbai BJP Secretary Vivekanand Gupta has alleged his own party with “letting down” honest and loyal workers and giving preference to the corrupt and tainted so that the party’s campaign can be funded.

Gupta has raised the flag of rebellion after the BJP nominated Praveen Darekar, a former Maharashtra Navnirman Sena legislator, to the state Legislative Council.

“Darekar was involved in various scams, including that of Mumbai District Cooperative Bank. An FIR was lodged against him and Economic Offences Wing is already investigating the matter,” Gupta told IANS.

“There had been gross misappropriation of funds in Mumbai Cooperative Bank when Darekar was its director. He misused their official position for wrongful gains to the tune of Rs 500 crore,” Gupta said.

Asserting that the BJP’s image of “party with a difference has been seriously dente”, he added that party workers are feeling betrayed as tickets are being given to “the corrupt and money bags”.

Refuting the allegations against him, Darekar asserted, “I have been absolved of all the charges against me and there is no merit in the allegations that are being levelled.”

Meanwhile, dissent is simmering in the party rank and file as many top leaders have been lobbying for berths in the Rajya Sabha and legislative council, and factionalism in the top leadership has clearly surfaced while preferring their favourites.

A faction owing allegiance to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has opposed the nomination of Amravati-based surgeon Vikas Mahatme to the Rajya Sabha, insisting someone from the party’s face in media, including Shaina NC, Madhav Bhandari, Raghunath Kulkarni or Manoj Kotak, should be elected for the vacant seats in the upper houses.

–IANS

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