Congress workers demand action against cross-voting
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.
Workers at the monthly Congress party workers’ meet at Congress Bhavan on Wednesday.