Nerul ward 88 to hold by-polls on Jan 10, NCP eyes victory
NERUL: The by- elections to ward 88 in Nerul on January 10 announced on Tuesday has heated up the political atmosphere in the node as a keen battle is expected on the cards between NCP and the rest of the political parties in the city.
The by-election has been necessitated due to the death of sitting NCP corporator Shashikala Maladi, 43, in October this year.
The Sector 3 of Nerul that falls under the ward was hotly contested in the civic elections in April with the Congress candidate Nutan Raut losing by around 250 votes to Maladi. The real contest in the ward that has been reserved for women is between former Congress corporator Santosh Shetty and former NCP corporator Suresh Shetty.
With Maladi’s family refusing to contest, the seat is open for others to contest. Political circles are agog with reports that the opposition could field a common candidate against an NCP candidate.
All eyes are on the Congress which is at loggerheads with the NCP in the area but in alliance in the house. There are reports of some local Congress leaders meeting BJP MLA Manda Mhatre recently. According to a political observer, “The Congress which did not have a pre-poll alliance with NCP had contested the civic elections last time securing around 1,400 votes against 1,632 votes of the NCP. The BJP candidate had secured around 940 votes.”
He added, “If you add the Congress and BJP votes, the NCP will lose by a huge margin.”
“While the city leadership is on friendly terms with NCP leader Ganesh Naik at present, Santosh Shetty is certainly not going to hold back,” said the observer.
The parties are confident of victory. Suresh Shetty said, “The people of the area had wholeheartedly supported the NCP in the last election as they trust Ganesh Naik. All the negative propaganda of the opposition is not going to work.”
Opposition l eader Vijay Chougule said, “The decision on contesting the seat will be taken by the party high command.”