After date row, bungling of notary name hits CM Fadnavis’ nomination

Nagpur: A day after a wrong date on the notary seal on chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ poll nomination affidavit kicked up a row, another error crept into the returning officer’s order of acceptance on Sunday.

Fadnavis had filed his nomination papers as a BJP candidate for Nagpur South West seat on Friday.

Returning Officer Shekhar Ghadge, in his order, first mentioned the name of the notary on the CM’s affidavit as Purushottam Moreshwar Sontakke instead of Vivek Purushottam Sontakke.

A rejoinder from the RO’s office to set things right had another error with the name this time being mentioned as Purushottam Narendra Sontakke, along with a request that it be “read as VP Sontakke”. The notary seal on Fadnavis’ affidavit mentioned the name as VP Sontakke.

Fadnavis’ Congress opponent Ashish Deshmukh termed the bungling in the name as “forgery” and accused the chief minister of “trying to hide something”.

“We will approach High Court against the manipulation as Election Commission is not working fairly,” Deshmukh said.

The Congress had, on Saturday, demanded rejection of Fadnavis’ nomination claiming the date of the notary seal on it had “expired” last December.

The BJP had dismissed the allegation and said it was a "mistake" on part of the notary.

Earlier this week, the alleged non-submission of two criminal cases in his 2014 poll affidavit returned to haunt Fadnavis when the supreme court set aside the Bombay high court’s dismissal of a plea and directed that the issue be heard afresh in a lower count.