The BJP in Bandra may lose a few thousand votes to the Congress, thanks to the Sindhi community vowing to vote against BJP candidate Ashish Shelar over the issue of a temple trust.
According to the temple trust and followers of Parmanand temple, who are mostly Sindhis, they are now in favour of Congress candidate Baba Siddique after they found out that Shelar had filed a complaint with the BMC in February stating that while the civic body demolished a wall and brought around 16 structures on PD Hinduja Road under road widening, it had left out the Parmanand Mandir Trust’s wall.
Keen to protect the temple wall, the trust filed an RTI application and found that Shelar had raised the issue and sought the demolition of the wall. The trust has around 4,000 registered members and claims influence on about 19,000 voters . “Shelar’s complaint stated that the temple wall should be brought down in spite of the society next to the temple stating that they had no objection. The boundary of the temple has trees which would also make it difficult to demolish the wall,” said Rajesh Gurshiani, a temple trust member.
According to Gurshiani, the BMC had stated earlier that they would not demolish the wall or area of religious places as it may hurt religious sentiments. However, following pressure created by Shelar, the BMC sent notices to demolish the wall.
A trust member, who did not wish to be named, said they had no choice but to approach local MLA Baba Siddique, who helped them for correspondence with the BMC over this and also approached BMC commissioner Sitaram Kunte. The trust also carried a signature campaign and held a morcha to the BMC office. Despite repeated attempts, Shelar was not available for comments.