The Congress has fielded Ashish Deshmukh against Devendra Fadnavis this time. Deshmukh was elected from the Katol seat from BJP in the year 2014. However, he had resigned from the party in October last year.
The Congress party has demanded from the Election Commission to reject Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’ nomination from Nagpur South West over an error in an affidavit for the upcoming Assembly elections in the state. The party has alleged that the date of the notary seal on it expired in December last year.
Congress leader Ashish Deshmukh said that the seal on the affidavit states that the term of the notary, a person authorised to perform acts in legal affairs like witnessing signatures on documents, expired on December 28, 2018.
Deshmukh said the concerned returning officer (RO), Shekhar Ghadge, should have rejected the form as well as Fadnavis’ candidature. But the officer, he said, failed to do so.
Alleging government pressure for the inaction, the Congress leader cited a Supreme Court judgment to the RO to demand the rejection of Fadnavis’ nomination papers.
Devendra Fadnavis had filed his nomination papers as a BJP candidate on Friday. He is seeking re-election from the Nagpur South West seat.
The Congress has fielded Deshmukh against Fadnavis this time. Deshmukh was elected from the Katol seat from BJP in the year 2014. However, he had resigned from the party in October last year. Deshmukh is a strong supporter of the demand for a separate state of Vidarbha.
Meanwhile, the BJP has dismissed the allegation and said it was a mistake on part of the notary. “The date (28-12-2018) mentioned on the seal of the notary is true. The notary had not changed his seal and stamped on the papers. The notary has valid extension letter till 28-12-2023,” party leader Sandip Joshi said.
Maharashtra will go to polls in a single phase on October 21. The results will be announced on October 24.