Besides Lonikar, there is mention of Mandakini and Vandana as his wives as voters, in the electoral register for the constituency. Surprisingly, when Lonikar submitted his affidavit as per norms prescribed by the Election Commission, in the column for spouse, he has mentioned only the name of Mandakini. “We searched the entire records of the Election Commission and affidavits filed by Lonikar. In the electoral register, Mandakini and Vandana have been mentioned as his wives, while in the affidavits, the name of Vandana is missing. He has misled the Election Commission in his affidavits,” Sawant said on Friday.
Sawant said it was unfortunate that despite submitting false information on his qualifications and family members, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis did not dismiss him from the cabinet. “The BJP is a party with a difference. Despite the fact that we have submitted the entire information, instead of sacking him from the cabinet, Fadnavis is protecting him,” he said.
Sawant said if Lonikar does not come out with a clarification on the status of his wives and educational qualifications, the Congress will have no option but to move the Election Commission and court. “We have raised basic issues with concrete evidence. We expect that Fadnavis will act immediately,” Sawant stated.
Sawant alleged that even the qualifications mentioned by Lonikar in his affidavits before the Election Commission were misleading. “We gathered information from educational institutions mentioned by Lonikar. We have been told that he never studied in the school mentioned by him,” Sawant said.
Lonikar did not respond to a text message from TOI, while Fadnavis was not available for comments on the charges against the cabinet member.