Ahead of the election for the presidents and vice-presidents of the taluka panchayats on December 22, Congress candidate from Karjan Sumitra Vasava who won from Dhavat taluka panchayat seat, has gone “missing”, according to the complaint filed by her family with the Karjan taluka police. While the family claims that Sumitra and her husband have “not returned” from a pilgrimage they set out on four days ago, Congress has accused BJP of abducting Sumitra to “win her over”.
According to the police complaint filed by Sumitra’s mother, the Congress candidate and her husband Kanti have been missing for the last four days. In her complaint, Sumitra’s mother has said that the couple and their teenage daughter had left to offer prayers at a family temple after Sumitra’s victory, but have not returned till date.
Sumitra’s disappearance has set off a political blame game between Congress and BJP.
District Congress president Narendra Mukhi said, “Although her mother has not named anyone in the complaint, there can be no other reason for her to go missing than a ploy of BJP to pressurise her to join the party as they are short in numbers in the taluka panchayat.”
For Congress, the majority in the taluka panchayat poll has been sour even though it won 11 of the 20 seats as the first term for the post of the president of the Karjan taluka panchayat is reserved for an SC woman. Congress does not have any winning candidate under the category while BJP, even with only eight seats, has a woman SC member.
A BJP source said, “Although the party has nothing to do with Sumitra missing from her house, if she chooses to join the party later, she will be offered the post of the vice-president.” Karjan police said they were probing the possible involvement of the political parties in the incident.