Congress work­ers de­mand ac­tion against cross-vot­ing

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G. Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

VASHI: Congress work­ers vo­cif­er­ously de­manded strong ac­tion against Congress lead­ers San­tosh Shetty, Ra­makant Mha­tre and cor­po­ra­tor Mira Patil for or­ches­trat­ing the vic­tory of Shiv Sena cor­po­ra­tor Shivram Patil as chair­man of NMMC stand­ing com­mit­tee.

Speak­ing at the monthly Congress party work­ers’ meet at Congress Bha­van on Wed­nes­day, in the pres­ence of state ob­server Mush­taque An­tu­lay, the work­ers claimed that the party’s im­age had suf­fered badly due to the sup­port ex­tended to a Shiv Sena can­di­date.

The monthly meet­ing, presided over by An­tu­lay wit­nessed fire­works as Shetty, Mha­tre and Patil stayed away.

The three were con­spic­u­ous by their ab­sence. There had been re­ports of pos­si­ble may­hem at the Congress Bha­van if the three ar­rived with their sup­port­ers. Deputy mayor Av­inash Lad too skipped the meet­ing. He is re­ported to be a close as­so­ciate of for­mer deputy mayor Anil Kaushik, who is re­port­edly at log­ger­heads with the NCP.

While the Congress is in al­liance with the NCP in NMMC, its lone mem­ber in SC, cor­po­ra­tor Mira Patil had ear­lier this month, voted for Shivram Patil in­stead of NCP can­di­date Jay­want Su­tar, giv­ing a shock­ing vic­tory to Patil by just one vote. Mira Patil’s men­tor, for­mer cor­po­ra­tor and state Congress sec­re­tary San­tosh Shetty is be­lieved to be the brain­child be­hind the cross vot­ing while for­mer deputy mayor and state Congress gen­eral sec­re­tary Ra­makant Mha­tre is al­leged to have sup­ported the move.

Shetty and Patil have, on record, jus­ti­fied the cross vot­ing as be­ing in the in­ter­est of the party and against the dic­ta­to­rial at­ti­tude of the NCP. Mha­tre has claimed that he had no role to play in it.

Re­spond­ing to the work­ers’ de­mand, An­tu­lay said, “I have taken note of the strong feel­ings of the party work­ers and will con­vey them to the state pres­i­dent. He will then take a de­ci­sion on any fur­ther course of ac­tion.”

An­tu­lay added that the Congress would emerge stronger from this episode.

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

Work­ers at the monthly Congress party work­ers’ meet at Congress Bha­van on Wed­nes­day.

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