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HC asks BMC to accept resignation of bypoll candidate Rutuja Latke

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Mumbai, Oct 13: In a big relief to Uddhav Thackeray, the Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Mumbai civic body to accept the resignation of Rutuja Latke, the candidate of 'Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray party for the upcoming Andheri East Assembly bypoll.

A division bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and Sharmila Deshmukh said the use or non-use of discretion by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner in taking a decision on the resignation, in this case, was "arbitrary".

HC asks BMC to accept resignation of bypoll candidate Rutuja Latke

The bench directed the competent authority of the BMC to accept the resignation and issue an appropriate letter by 11 am on Friday. This would pave way for Latke to file her nominations for the by-election on Friday. "She (Latke) is your (BMC) employee...You should be helping her out," the court said.

Earlier in the day, Latke's counsel Vishwajeet Sawant had told the court that she is a clerk and has no pending dues or inquiries. The last date for filing the nomination papers for the November 3 by-election is October 14. The bypoll was necessitated due to the death of Latke's husband and sitting MLA Ramesh Latke.

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The Uddhav Thackeray faction had on Wednesday alleged that Rutuja Latke was being pressured by the group led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to contest on their ticket.

The Thackeray faction also alleged political pressure on the Mumbai civic body to delay the resignation of Latke as its employee to scuttle her candidature for the bypoll. However, BMC commissioner I S Chahal had denied any political pressure.

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