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BJP’s decision to field Praveen Darekar for polls angers party workers

Published : May 31, 2016, 2:08 am IST
Updated : May 31, 2016, 2:08 am IST

BJP’s announcment of the candidature of tainted, outsider party leader, Praveen Darekar, for state Legislative Council elections has shocked and angered party workers.

BJP’s announcment of the candidature of tainted, outsider party leader, Praveen Darekar, for state Legislative Council elections has shocked and angered party workers. Mr Darekar is chairman of Mumbai Cooperative Bank, which is being probed by various agencies in connection with corruption to the tune of Rs123 crore.

Meanwhile, the party is confused about its fifth candidate who will represent Konkan with three major contenders having been shortlisted.

BJP on Monday announced the list of candidates who would contest Rajya Sabha and state Legislative Council elections on June 11 and 10, respectively. The party’s national vice-president, Vinay Sahastrabudhdhe, who is also mentor of the party think tank, Rambhau Mhalagi Prabodhini, will be the second candidate and Amravati-based Dr Vikas Mahatme, the third candidate for Rajya Sabha elections. Dr Mahatme has been honoured with a “Padmashri” for his work in the field of eye surgery in tribal areas of Gadchiroli, Melghat and Yeormal.

Mr Darekar, a former legislator of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) who lost the 2014 assembly polls and later joined BJP in January 2015, has been announced as the party candidate for MLC elections.

Vivekanand Gupta, BJP secretary, in March last year filed a First Information Report (FIR) with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) against Mr Darekar for alleged corruption worth Rs 123 crore in bank loans.

Mr Gupta said there had been gross misappropriation of funds in Mumbai Cooperative Bank at the time Mr Darekar was director. He claimed that directors misused their official position for wrongful gains to the tune of Rs 123 crore.

When he came to know that BJP was fielding Mr Darekar for MLC polls, Mr Gupta said, “BJP has given a ticket to a totally corrupt man involved in Mumbai bank corruption. FIR is lodged against him and EOW is investigating the case. ‘Party with a difference’ image has been seriously dented. It’s a sad day for BJP workers. I appeal to central leadership to reconsider the decision.”