Ratan Patel alleges Corrupt Electoral Practices Against Anahita Yazdi Desai

Respected Trustees

This bears reference to the recent elections to the post of a Trustee of the Bombay Parsee Punchayet. I was one of the candidates who also contested the elections. Needless to state, I was unsuccessful. Mr. Xerxes Dastur was the successful candidate. Mrs. Anahita Desai who also contested the elections, lost to Mr. Xerxes Dastur by a margin of 89 votes.

I have no grievance against the election of Mr. Xerxes Dastur. However, it has recently come to my notice that Mrs. Anahita Desai, who is the Chairman’s wife, has raised certain objections to the election of Xerxes Dastur. However, it is of utmost importance that Mrs. Desai has herself, blatantly violated the voluntary Code of Conduct in the course of her election campaign.

It has come to my notice that Mrs. Desai has spent monies, far in excess of what is permitted under the voluntary Code of Conduct. Mrs. Anahita Desai, through her supporter, Mr. Sam Chothia of Valsad, paid money to voters in Valsad, Surat and Navsari to attend the elections of the BPP in large numbers and to vote for her. It is also pertinent that Mrs. Anahita Desai had in fact chartered several buses to ferry the electorate from the said towns to Mumbai on Election Day. It is for this very reason that Mrs. Desai did not agree to a cap of Rs.25,000/- to be imposed on each candidate towards ferrying the electorate to the election venues. The expenses towards ferrying of the candidates on election day were not included in the campaign expenses of Mrs. Anahita Desai, as submitted to the Election Commissioner.

During the recent public meeting organised by Wapiz and Parsi Voice at the Patkar Hall for considering the proposed action to be taken for saving our Holy Fire, Mrs. Desai once again spent huge amounts of money to get the electorate to attend the meetings. The said expenses towards ferrying the electorate are not disclosed by her to be expenses towards her election campaign, thereby unequivocally demonstrating a colourable activity to have been committed by her.

Further, in the matter which was filed by Parvez Driver, Roshan Irani and Xerxes Dastur impugning the unfair electoral practises by Arnavaz Mistry’s Young Ratherstars, it is amply borne out that Young Rathestars were in fact desirous of canvassing for Mrs. Desai even on Election Day. The conduct of BPP Trustee Kersi Randeria in not even making any statement to that effect, positive or negative, once again unequivocally demonstrates that unfair election practices were going to be committed by Young Rathestars. The same is also reflected in the order of the Hon’ble High Court dated 30th June 2018. I would like to explain to you the concept of a negative statement:

A statement could be either positive or negative; A positive statement would be when someone makes a statement to not do a certain activity.

On the other hand, a negative statement would be one where the person making the statement states that the allegations against the organisation are false, the organisation had no plans of committing unfair election practices and in fact does not have any plans to indulge in unfair election practices.

The very fact that your own trustee chose not to make even a negative statement, once again evidences the extent to which Mrs. Anahita Desai along with her husband, and, Trustee Mr. Kersi Randeria and his alleged ‘family friends’ are willing to commit wrongs to support the Chairman’s wife.

Further, at the ZTFI event held at Sethna Agiary hall at Tardeo on 10th June 2018, BPP trustee Kersi Randeria and his ‘family friend’ Arnavaz Mistry alongwith her daughter Yasmin Mistry were brazenly distributing free gifts and expensive gift hampers to the weaker sections of the community, while openly calling upon them to vote for Anahita Desai. The same is clearly an unfair election practise, if there ever was one.

I repeat, I have no grievance against the election of Mr. Xerxes Dastur. I therefore did not place my objections on record earlier in spite of being aware of the same all along, since there was no occasion to do so. However, since Mrs. Anahita Desai has thought it fit to raise her objections after ‘graciously’ conceding defeat in Kersi Randeria’s Parsi Times, I am left with no option but to place my objections on record.

I would request the Trustees to Kindly take note of my objections and further to not let Mrs. Anahita Desai interfere with the functioning of the BPP. In the unlikely event of your good selves preferring to interfere with the democratic election process, I would like to take this opportunity to inform you to not let Mrs. Anahita Desai be sworn in as the Trustee as the unfair election practices committed by her disentitle her from acting as a trustee and the same would cause irreparable damage to me as I have received the third highest number of votes.

I sincerely hope you all will do justice to me and our beloved community and save the BPP and yourselves from reputation damage.

Yours Truly,

Ratan Patel