PUNE: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) received a big jolt as its three elected corporators were disqualified on Wednesday. They failed to submit their caste validity verification certificates.
The disqualified BJP members are Kavita Vairage, Varsha Sathe and Arati Kondhare. Vairage and Sathe were elected from the Salisbury Park-Maharshinagar ward and the Upper Super-Indira Nagar ward, respectively, on the BJP ticket. The District Caste Validity Verification Committee found the caste certificate provided by Kondhare, who was elected from the Khadakmal Ali-Mahatma Phule Peth, invalid leading to her disqualification from the post.
With the disqualification of its three corporators, the BJP’s tally has been reduced to 95 from 98. However, the party still enjoys a majority in the 162-member civic body.
Satish Kulkarni, who is the head of election department of the PMC, said Vairage and Sathe have been disqualified and a detailed report will be sent to the State government for its perusal. The State Election Commission will issue a letter to them about their disqualification.
According to the provisions in the Maharashtra Municipal Councils, Nagar Panchayats and Industrial Townships Act, 1965, any candidate contesting the elections from a reserved seat must submit his caste certificate and the caste validity verification certificate, along with his nomination papers.
An elected candidate can submit the caste validity verification certificate issued by the competent scrutiny committee within six months from their election.
The civic polls were held in last February in the city. The results of the elections were subsequently declared on February 22. Hence, the candidates getting elected from a reserved seat for the backward category had to submit their caste validity verification certificates till August 22.
Out of total 162 corporators in the PMC, 68 got elected from the reserved seats. As per data available with the election department of the PMC, 65 members submitted the certificates by August 22 while Varsha Sathe and Kavita Vairage failed to submit their caste validity verification certificates to the PMC.
The caste certificate of Arati Kondhare was declared invalid.