Nagpur: With the State Election Commission setting the ball rolling for 2017 February election of Nagpur Municipal Corporation and has declared time-table for fixation of multi-member wards (Prabhag) and roster, the ruling BJP, opposition Congress and other parties are gearing up for crucial mandate in the Second Capital City. The polls to the civic body assume significance in view of the size and demographic profile of the city. The release of lists of candidates would not be done by the political parties until the structure of Prabhags is finalized. The delimitation and reservation of Prabhags is to be made public on October 7 and 10 respectively.
However, the full throttle activities could only be witnessed once Navratri festival is over. The facts and figures regarding the structure of Prabhgs will only be made public by October 10. The next NMC polls are going to be held on 4-member Prabhag system. So the strategies are being drawn by parties accordingly. One Prabhag would consist of 60,000-70,000 voters and the winning candidates will have to garner 12,000-15,000 votes. With the target in mind, the aspiring candidates and the current city fathers have started making rounds of their areas and wooing the voters in many ways than the one. Various beneficial camps, health camps and other programmes are being organized to show their activeness for “welfare” of voters. Felicitation of meritorious students and distributing them with cycles was the most “favourite” programme organized by the Corporators.
Notably, voters had forgotten the faces of many of Corporators as they did not turn up to their areas since the past four and half years (After winning the last election). But sudden spurt in activities is being seen as the poll fever. As the elections are drawing closer and closer, many Corporators have started “showing their faces.” But they must not forget that voters cannot be fooled every time. Voters hold the keys to open doors NMC corridors of power and at the same time teach a lesson to dormant and inactive city fathers.
The reservation (vertical and horizontal) of each Prabhag will be declared on October 7.
Since 50 per cent of seats are reserved for women, half the seats will naturally go to women aspirants while constitutional reservation will also be maintained in each ward. This is a very complex and tedious exercise and often leads to bitter litigation. All the big-wigs of local politics are already trying their level best to include their strongholds in the proposed Prabhag to register easy victory. During last elections, NMC had two-member Prabhag while this time the State Government had decided to go for four-member Prabhag. This move has been welcomed by ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, but strongly opposed by Congress and other smaller parties which feel that multi-member wards will be detrimental to their political interests as some pockets of their committed voters would not be a decisive factor in four-member ward.
The BJP is trying to retain its power in NMC for third successive term while Congress has decided to unitedly fight the ruling alliance. Their alliance partner, Shiv Sena and NCP have very marginal presence in the city politics, but they have some pockets of influence.
In case of Nagpur, the next election of civic body will be contested in a Prabhag of four Corporators. NMC will have 37 Prabhags and total number of Corporators will be 149. Out of total 37, the 36 Prabhags will have four members while one prabhag will have five members. The number has been increased due to expansion in NMC area following inclusion of Narsala and Hudkeshwar.