Community heaves sigh of relief after consent terms for Bombay Parsi Punchayet elections are signed and ready for the Bombay High Court on Monday
Noshir Dadrawala went on a hunger strike on October 18 to press for early BPP elections. File pic
Article by Hemal Ashar | Mid-Day
The Bombay Parsi Punchayet’s (BPP) five trustees have signed consent terms for the elections to the prestigious body to be held on March 27, 2022. The Punchayet is supposed to have seven trustees. Two seats had been vacant for a while, as one trustee Yezdi Desai had resigned citing ill health. He passed away recently. Another Trustee had passed away.
There are seven seats on the BPP body. The current five trustees, with Armaity Tirandaz as chairperson, will end their terms before the March polls next year, and the community will vote for trustees to the seven seats. Signing of these consent terms, which will be submitted in court on Monday, hopefully brings to a close a tumultuous chapter in the run-up to the proposed elections.
BPP trustee Kersi Randeria, who was part of the Dadrawala camp so to speak, said, “Trustee Noshir Dadrawala went on a hunger strike so that elections to the BPP are held early.” That fast, at the BPP Fort office, was unprecedented in drama and the response it evoked. The other trustees, including Viraf Mehta and chairperson Tirandaz, who had been pressing for a later date, agreed to the March election after solicitor Berjis Desai brokered a peace deal. Dadrawala called off his fast two days later.
Mehta though maintained he had signed the consent terms under duress. It was a tense few days, with accusations flying back and forth and with the clock ticking, the community was wondering whether this was the last of the run up to the polls controversy. Dadrawala said, “That is in the past now. The terms have been signed and polls will be held in March next year. The papers will be filed in the Bombay High court on Monday.”
On October 18, 2021, Dadrawala went on a hunger strike to press for early elections to the BPP board. Two days later the impasse was broken with BPP chairperson Armaity Tirandaz, Dadrawala, Kersi Randeria, Viraf Mehta and Xerxes Dastur signing the consent terms after senior community legal eagle Desai intervened. At that time, it seemed a truce had been called and the matter that had garnered furious reactions from a community, seemed to have ended.
A tumultuous fortnight went by, with community newspapers reporting the furious fighting, till peace prevailed once again on Wednesday, November 10. Hopefully, there are no more twists and turns on the road to what has been a very fractious run-up to the BPP elections, historical and memorable in some way, but certainly not for the best reasons.