2017 NMC poll: United BJP aims hat-trick as Oppn is found splintered

NMC Polls
: The countdown for the upcoming elections to Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) had started the day State Government announced that the four-ward electoral Prabhag system will be in place for the polls. The only wait now is for the structure of a Prabhag is made public. The ruling party – BJP – seems to be in a ‘handsome’ position to make a hat-trick with a slew of populist measures, strategies and a winnable game-plan in place, at least on papers. On the other hand, the other parties in the ring will have to sweat it hard to dislodge the BJP. It would be a miracle if the rival parties succeed in their avowed goal. The general feeling is that the party leaders feel that in the four-ward Prabhag system, the voters will give more importance to parties rather than the candidates, which was the case during the two-ward system.

BJP, which put up a stupendous performance in the last Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, is clearly eyeing to retain power in the NMC. The party strategy is to ensure victory for at least two male corporators/female corporators under the leadership of an influential man from each Prabhag. The ‘think tank” of the ruling party already decided the influential faces in at least 30 Prabhags. With this equation, candidates in the possible Prabhags such as Vayusena Nagar/Makardhokda/Hazaripahad have been decided. Accordingly, former Mayor Mayatai Ivnate from ST quota, former Deputy Mayor Sandeep Jadhav from SC quota, Jagdeesh Gwalvanshi from OBC and Sadhana Barde from open category could be front-runners.

All political parties, including the ruling BJP, have started preparations as the civic elections are slated to be held early next year. If the solid preparations by BJP are any indication about the outcome then the opposition parties will have to put extra efforts to shatter the BJP plan. The Opposition parties are squirming over the BJP plan to attract in its fold the winnable candidates irrespective of the rival parties they belong. The only aspect that could work in forcing BJP to lick dusts in the next NMC polls is unwavering unity among opposition parties, potent, high quality game-plan and getting rid of short comings. These factors hold the key to foil BJP’s goal to achieve hat-trick in the civic elections.

However, the picture on this front is different. The biggest Opposition party (Congress) is scattered and broken. The fact is in public domain. Nobody can deny it. The party has still not declared the new executive for the city. Accordingly, the office-bearers have been deprived any responsibility. Office-bearers of old committee are active but at their own levels. If the Congress does not put its house in order in time, it would not be surprising to see the party sits on Opposition benches again.

– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( rajeev.nagpurtoday@gmail.com )