Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his 2014 electoral campaign raised his voice for clean governance in the nation and criminal-free party. On the other hand, the recent aggressive campaign has created a speculation that Omie Kalani would be the prime campaigner of BJP in 2019. His political failures forced him to start his own party Team Omie Kalani (TOK) which is merely a campaigner group. If previous records are referred, the junior Kalani is seen randomly campaigning for NCP, Republican Party of India (RPI), sometimes Shiv Sena, and finally haltered at BJP because of his wife, Pancham Kalani’s position as Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation Mayor (BJP).
During Modi’s daylong visit to Maharashtra on Tuesday, December 18, the posters spoke louder about his inclination towards the saffron party. The Ulhasnagar politics, and power corridors speculating that he would be the poster boy of Ulhasnagar for 2019. However, putting a full stop to all the speculation, BJP’s Saina NC said, “Ours is the only party which has never encouraged any criminals and will never do so and one to be rest assured by not getting carried away by the rumours.”
Countering Saina NC, NCP leader Vidya Chavan said, “Amit Shah himself is a big gunda in the BJP. This party might be boasting about clean politics but they will never do so. There are 22-24 Ministers in Maharashtra with charges of corruption and Devendra Fadnavis is giving them all clean chits. They are taking in gundas, we are seeing this for the last four years.”
In the same series of war of words, BJP MLA Atul Save told AV, “Modi Ji may not be even aware who is who; such people try to impose themselves on BJP whereas BJP is of very firm opinion that they won’t entertain such people. As far as posters are concerned, anyone can get it printed and if the said person is in politics, he knows how to make it to his advantage.”
“I once again want to maintain that when PM comes for an event, people go in groups, click photos and boasts about their support or having proximity but it is just an illusion created by the people,” he added.
Save further said, “Devendra Fadnavis is a no-nonsense CM of Maharashtra and by all means, he believes in clean politics and he already made sure that the tainted people will not be given any place here. As long as support is concerned, that depends on the supporter but not on the party.”
Omie Kalani was not available for the quote but when our Editor-in-Chief spoke to NCP President and MLA of Ulhasnagar Jyoti Kalani, the mother of Omie Kalani and wife of Pappu Kalani asserted, “My daughter-in-law Pancham Kalani is with BJP and she is the Mayor of Ulhasnagar Municipal Corporation. My son is a strong supporter of BJP. However, he is a member of his own political party Team Omie Kalani (TOK) but his party workers and he himself are supporting the saffron party and they will continue supporting it.”
However, earlier Omie passed statement to the media that with the blessing of his father he has switched his support to the BJP. He also said, “We had a lengthy conversation and my father told me we had been Sharad Pawar loyalists for many years. I feel that times have changed and the BJP has emerged as the party of the masses. Ulhasnagar is a Sindhi-dominated area and voters have to choose between Pappu Kalani and the BJP. We want to end this dilemma and convey the message that Kalanis are with the BJP,” Kalani stated.
Omie Kalani is reported to be an accused having several extortion cases and non-cognisable offences registered against him. A recent case of kidnapping and extortion of a Kalyan-based garment businessman Anil Kanjani (37) have been registered in the Kolsewadi police which came as a major embarrassment. The complainant has alleged in his complaint that he was kidnapped, threatened, and was abused to pay Rs 50 lakh to an Ahmedabad based businessman, Nilesh. Later, Kalani along with Suresh Lalwani and 12 other TOK (Team Omie Kalani) members took him to a hotel in Ulhasnagar where Kanjani was confined to a room and beaten up. Apart from that, they brandished knives and revolvers asking him to pay up Nilesh within two to three days.
During 2017 Municipal Corporation election, two BJP local leaders, who have filed two attempts to murder cases against Omie Kalani, later withdrew their complaints. Both the leaders submitted their affidavit in the Kalyan session court stating that the cases registered by them against Omie are politically motivated ones. However, it seems to be a sudden shift of occasion when the TOK party President actively supports BJP on the social media while on the other hand, denies joining the party.
Congress Rajya Sabha MP Husain Dalwai commented, “How can a person with criminal records allowed to meet Prime Minister? I don’t think he will be allowed to do so and if he is allowed to do so, it means that the police and the Home Department are not following the protocol. I don’t think he will ever be allowed to meet PM.”
According to the media reports, earlier, Kalani and his 15 associates were booked in an attempt to murder case in 2011. Omie and his supporters allegedly beat up BJP Corporator Mahesh Sukhramani’s nephew Sunil with iron rods and sticks. Kalani is a family that dominates the politics of Ulhasnagar, which is also known as mini-Sindh. However, the family is also popular for having a vast criminal background. Jyoti Kalani, the mother of Omie Kalani and wife of Pappu Kalani, was arrested by the state crime investigation department in 2004 on various charges including forgery, non-payment of revenue and illegal liquor manufacturing. Jyoti had been the Mayor of Ulhasnagar after Pappu’s arrest under TADA in early 1990s.
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