Targeting Shiv Sena MP from Mumbai South Arvind Sawant for alleged criminal cases against him, the Congress candidate contesting from the constituency, Milind Deora, accused him of misusing his position for withdrawing the cases.
Deora alleged that Sawant had been summoned 16 times by the Metropolitan Magistrate Court between March 2018 and 2019, but did not attend a single hearing and informed the court that he had approached the state government for withdrawing all the cases against him.
“Sawant has 13 serious criminal charges against him and when summoned by the court for hearings, he did not attended a single one. Isn’t it a case of conflict of interest as he requested the state government to withdraw all the cases against him while he was an MP? Now, people, especially youth, want clean and transparent politics. They look for public representatives with a clean image, not someone with 13 serious criminal cases against him. In the last 15 years of my public life, I do not have a single case against me,” Deora said in a press conference on Monday, which was held at the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) office.
He added, “On March 27, Sawant replied to the court saying he is pursuing with the state government the withdrawal of all the cases.” In 2014, Sawant had defeated Deora in the Lok Sabha elections by a margin of 1.28 lakh votes.
However, on the salvo fired by Deora, Sawant had always said these were frivolous cases and political in nature and were mostly of public agitations.
When asked about whether Congress president Rahul Gandhi will campaign for him, Deora said though as of now there was no confirmation, he was trying to get Gandhi and his sister, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, for his campaign before April 27.
A two-time former MP, Deora had recently created a storm on social media and in political circles when industrialist Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Limited and banker Uday Kotak, head of Kotak Bank, had openly supported Deora’s candidature from Mumbai South in a video message.