Four days ahead of polling in Maharashtra, senior NCP leader and former cabinet minister Hasan Mushrif finds himself in a spot over dubious voters.
An Express investigation into the voter rolls of Kolhapur’s Kagal Assembly seat, which the former minister represents in the state Assembly, revealed that a total of 76 people with various surnames have listed Mushrif’s house as their residential address.
The NCP leader is seeking re-election from the constituency for the fourth consecutive time.
Thirteen members of the Mushrif family are enrolled as voters in Kagal’s voters list no. 31. In the rolls, they are shown as residents of house number 309, 311, and 311/2A of the 2nd Mujawar Gulli Mali Gulli.
Copies of the official voter rolls in this newspaper’s possession, however, show that 63 other voters are also enrolled on the same residential address. These carry various surnames — Kolhapure, Makandar, Sharikmaslat, Sheikh, Mujawar, Pinjare, Jamadar, Piranjade, Mahat, Mulla, Mulani and Sanadi.
In fact, one of them even has a Hindu name.
When this reporter visited the Mushrif residence, his wife Sahira confirmed that the two-storied house was only occupied by the Mushrif family, which included she and her husband, their sons and daughters-in-law. Families of Mushrif’s two brothers live in buildings just opposite the premises.
Interestingly, Mushrif’s own in-laws, Kolhapures, who are enrolled as voters in Karnataka’s Nipani, are also shown as sharing Mushrif’s residence. “They visit us occasionally but do not stay here,” Sahira confirmed.
The newspaper is also in possession of an official copy of Nipani’s voter roll. At least 13 out of the 63 names, including four members of Kolhapure family, are registered as voters even in Karnataka, it shows.
When contacted, Mushrif said he could not meet personally since he was busy with election campaigning. Despite repeated requests to the personal assistant attending to his mobile phone, no telephonic response to the allegation was forthcoming.