MNS loses another seat in civic body

MNS received a fresh blow in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) with another corporator of the party getting disqualified by the court, bringing the MNS strength from 29 to 27 this month.

Corporator Kalpana Bahirat has been disqualified for submitting a false caste certificate to contest a reserved seat.

On March 15, a local court had set aside the election of MNS corporator Priya Gadade for submitting a fabricated birth certificate in the 2012 civic body polls and had asked the PMC to conduct a fresh poll by June 30.

The reduction in MNS strength in the civic body makes the Congress with 28 corporators the second largest party in the PMC. In the civic polls, MNS had emerged the second largest party after the NCP. The MNS had left the Congress, Shiv Sena and BJP behind and bagged the post of the leader of opposition in the PMC.

"The membership of Bahirat as MNS corporator has been cancelled after it was found that she submitted a forged caste certificate for the civic polls," said Mangesh Joshi, deputy municipal commissioner of PMC.

He said the civic administration would convey the decision to the state election office and seek a bypoll for the vacated seat. Bahirat was elected from panel 40 and her caste certificate did not match the records of the caste verification department.

Gadade's membership had been rejected by the court after it was found that she submitted a forged birth certificate.

"We are now the second largest party and would claim the position of leader of opposition," said a Congress corporator.

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