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Delhi party chief Manoj Tiwari's chosen 'poor face' for MCD polls declares assets worth `1.35 cr

AAP found ammunition to gun for the BJP on Monday after it emerged that the saffron party's Inderpuri candidate for this month's municipal polls, who was touted as a slum dweller and the face of the city's urban poor, happens to be a millionaire.

Meet Sunita Kaushik, who was handpicked by the party's city chief Manoj Tiwari. The BJP went on the defensive after she told the state election commission in an affidavit that she has assets worth ` 1.35 crore, including three residential houses in west Delhi.

AAP leaders seize opportunity to accuse the BJP of hurting sentiments of people living in slums & unauthorised colonies

continued from page 1 However, Kaushik is not an income- tax payer.

Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Dilip Pandey termed the BJP's support for the slum dwellers and residents of unauthorised colonies in Delhi " hypocrisy" and " fake". " By portraying a millionaire candidate as a slum dweller, the BJP has hurt the sentiments of the poor," he said. " It is an insult to lakhs of people living in Delhi's slums and unauthorised colonies in a pitiable condition." The BJP has dominated the city civic bodies for years and had announced that it would repeat no councillor for this edition of the polls, fielding only new faces. It faces a tough contest from AAP, which is keen to take charge of the municipal corporations after burying rivals under a landslide win in the assembly polls two years ago.

Kaushik's plunge into Delhi politics was no less than a scene out of a Bollywood movie.

Tiwari, who was on a visit to the Inderpuri slums this New Year's Eve, met the woman who came to the BJP president alleging that " politicians never listened to the problems of the poor". Impressed by her straight talk, Tiwari assured her of a " solution" and it surprised many when he declared Kaushik as the BJP's candidate from the local municipal ward.

It was Tiwari's first visit to Delhi's slums after taking charge of Delhi BJP last year. He had spent the night of December 31, 2016 with the residents of Todapur slums where he also met Sunita Kaushik.

" During the BJP president's visit, she had said that politicians don't listen to the poor. To this, she was promised a solution.

Today she is a BJP candidate," the party's city unit had said in a statement after announcing her candidature.

A senior leader said the BJP had also ensured her ticketkeeping in view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision to strengthen the weaker sections.

" My visits were a reality check on the condition of slums and unauthorised colonies under the AAP government. I was pained to hear that politicians do not listen to the poor," Tiwari said about the interaction at the shanties.

According to the affidavit, Kaushik is a millionaire with two houses and jewellery worth ` 97 lakh. She disclosed that she owns two residential properties measuring 720 square feet and 553 square feet at Dasghara in Inderpuri whose market price is pegged at ` 50 lakh and ` 32 lakh, respectively.

Her husband, Shashi Bhushan, also owns a house worth ` 10 lakh. The couple possesses jewellery worth ` 7 lakh. Kaushik's share in it is valued at ` 6 lakh.

The affidavit also disclosed that she has ` 50,000 in cash while her husband carries ` 85,000. However, she only has Rs 1,000 in her bank account, a little more than her spouse's ` 576.

BJP leaders refused to comment on the assets declared by its candidate but said its pick was aimed at supporting the less- privileged.

" While no other party has ever stood with the slum dwellers, the BJP is the only party to have chosen its candidate from the weaker sections. It has been done with a strong intent to strengthen the poor," said a party leader.

A BJP leader said the party ensured her ticket, keeping in view Modi's vision to strengthen the weaker sections One of the properties owned by Sunita Kaushik.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Apr 11, 2017
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