MUMBAI, February 21, 2012
Dalit votes helped Sena, BJP in civic polls: Ram Naik
But it is doubtful whether RPI received any quid pro quo, he says
In the recently concluded Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)
elections, the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party benefited from the
Dalit vote, but it was doubtful if their alliance partner, Republican
Party of India (Athavale), received support from the Sangh Parivar
vote base, BJP leader Ram Naik remarked on Monday.
RPI leader Ramdas Athavale had said while Dalit voters helped the
saffron parties win, a quid pro quo from the Sena-BJP voters was
absent. As a result, the Dalit party won only one seat in Mumbai.
'Athavale is right'
"What Ramdas Athavale says is true, but in the long term he will
benefit from the alliance," Mr. Naik told a press conference.
He said the Sena and the BJP had also benefited from the rebellion in
Mr. Naik on Monday said the voting percentage in the BMC polls was
higher than the estimate given by the State Election Commission owing
to duplicate entries in electoral rolls. He said the percentage was in
fact 57 and not 46 as per official estimates.
"The residential mobility of Mumbai citizens is very high. However,
neither the shifting [of residence], nor deaths are accounted
automatically in the electoral rolls. Even after shifting, new names
are added on the basis of applications, but proper care is not being
taken to delete those names from the old rolls," Mr. Naik said.
The BJP leader cited an example of the three Assembly constituencies,
namely in the suburbs of Malad, Kandivali and Borivili. Mr. Naik said
after the rolls were published in 2008, he observed several "duplicate
names." Out of 18,02,877 voters, 3,57,520 names or 20 per cent names
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