The election for a single vacant seat for the position of trustee of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) is set to be an expensive affair. With no code of conduct in place, estimates are that the poll expense could be close to Rs1 crore — well over the Rs25 lakh limit set for Lok Sabha elections.
“A code of conduct was proposed, but trustees did not agree. Organising the bypoll will be an expensive affair, as we will have to spend money on sheds due to the monsoon season,” said chairman of the BPP, Dinshaw Mehta.
Apart from the banners and posters that are put up, a large amount is spent on dinner parties. Since Parsis are known to have elaborate dinners, a dinner for around 200 people costs about Rs1 lakh.
Two candidates DNA spoke to said they had not set any limit and that their expenses would depend on the money spent by the other side. “The demand for a code of conduct came in late. What we can do is sit together and agree on something. As of now, no target has been set,” said Anahita Desai, one of the candidates.
Mancherji Cama, the other candidate, said: “If candidates are willing, we can have a tea-and-biscuits campaign. But I am doubtful of the outcome.”
The BPP is the apex body of the Parsis in the city and amongst the largest land owners.