NCP on back foot, oppn eyes mayor post
At least five NCP corporators on the verge of defecting; Sena opens its doors to all
CBD BELAPUR: The Opposition has never had it so good in the history of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation since it came into being in 1995.
The Ganesh Naik-led Nationalist Congress Party ( NCP) seems to have lost the plot and is on the back foot, desperately trying to keep its flock together and more importantly its precarious hold in the house of the civic body.
The opposition has set its eyes on the post of the mayor, the target it had set after the mayoral elections last year and which it believes is possible in the present political scenario.
The victory in the standing committee chairman election a fortnight ago has renewed the confidence of the opposition. The Shiv Sena has set its eyes on the mayoral elections that will be held next year.
Political sources claim that it could make an attempt to bag the post even earlier by reducing the NCP numbers in the house before mayor Sudhakar Sonawane’s tenure ends.
The Shiv Sena has virtually opened its doors to all corporators, who want to join the party.
According to a political source, “While several NCP corporators are upset with Naik’s style of functioning, there are at least five NCP corporators from Vashi and Turbhe who are on the verge of defecting. They have a strong base of their own in their wards. They could resign and contest the byelection as Shiv Sena or BJP candidates, possibly boosting the numbers of the opposition and depleting the NCP in the house.”
The source said, “While a Vashi corporator is upset at work not happening in his ward, a corporator in Turbhe is upset with Naik for his alleged interference in MIDC companies of his area. He has been in touch with the opposition leaders. He has even publicly spoken against NCP policy decisions on the dumping ground in Turbhe.”
He added, “Three NCP corporators in Digha have already been issued show-cause notice for their disqualification over construction of illegal buildings. One of them even resigned from the standing committee membership which led to the fiasco for the NCP.”
The source said, “The three corporators are reported to be upset with Naik and had even openly hobnobbed with state Shiv Sena and BJP leaders, a couple of months ago to help regularise the illegal constructions in Digha. By-election in their area will obviously have candidates put up by them which could be from the opposition, thus hitting NCP hard.”
The source said, “Some NCP corporators are still bat- tling with their caste certificate issues and could lose membership leading to by-elections in their wards.”
A political observer said: “While the NCP is not sure of its own corporators, it is obvious that it cannot trust the Congress, which has a history of flip flops. Not only did the party corporator vote against the NCP candidate in the standing committee elections, the Congress even put a unified candidate for the byelections in Yadav Nagar against the NCP candidate.”
He said, “The Congress leaders here are a divided lot and known to have acted against the supposed orders of their high command. This gives an inviting window to the Shiv Sena.”