As the Maharashtra Assembly elections are less than a month away, the Mumbai police have issued instructions to the licensed weapon holders to deposit their firearms with them. So far, nine weapons, including a revolver, have been deposited, Mumbai police spokesperson DCP Pranay Ashok told PTI on Thursday. "We are doing this on a daily basis. Till the election gets over, the weapons will remain in our custody," he said.
"We issue receipts against the deposited weapons. We will return the firearms to them as per the day mentioned on the receipts...mostly after the election," Ashok added. Sources said that police do not collect weapons from prominent personalities facing life threats, like businessmen and politicians. "Every police station possesses the record of how many people have licensed weapons under its jurisdiction. Based on this information, they are submitting the report to the top brass," sources added.
Earlier on Saturday, the Election Commission announced that Maharashtra which has 288 Assembly seats will go to polls in 21 October 2019. Maharashtra assembly elections will be held in a single-phase and the counting procedure would be conducted on October 24. The Election Commission chief Sunil Arora also announced that the last date of nomination is on October 4. Arora also informed that the parties in Maharashtra had wanted the polls to be concluded by Dhanteras.
Currently, the BJP holds 122 seats while the Shiv Sena holds 63 seats and the Opposition held by UPA has 42 seats. Amid growing speculations that the BJP might not agree to the 50:50 seat-sharing formula being proposed by it for the assembly elections, the Shiv Sena has been conducting interviews of ticket aspirants for all the 288 assembly seats and reviewed its poll preparedness on Sunday at a party meeting. Shiv Sena and BJP will contest the Maharashtra Assembly elections jointly and an announcement on the seat-sharing formula is in its final stages, said Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday.