Nagpur News: With the “mouth watering” win for BJP in Lok Sabha elections and the Assembly polls knocking the doors, the Independent Corporators in Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) have gone in bargaining mode and are expecting a major share in the victory pie in one form or the other. And the Ruling Party (BJP) in NMC is also not in mood to disappoint the Independent Corporators, allies in ruling equation and assets for the coming Maharashtra Assembly elections.
The civic body is witnessing an exercise being carried out by Ruling Party on massive scale in view of the crucial Council and Assembly elections. The focus of the exercise is on appointment of Chairmen of 10 different committees. With temptation heavy in their minds, the Independent Corporators are now eager to go into BJP fold and ensure benefits for themselves in one shape or the other. Plum posts are top in their wish-list. The only wait is for green signal from BJP leadership.
A group of sulking Independent Corporators had held rounds of meetings before Lok Sabha elections and it was decided to extend support BJP candidate in exchange of fulfillment of their various demands. And if the BJP leadership ditches them, the next strategy would be drawn after the elections. According to some Independent Corporators, the winning party has failed to fulfill its promises doled out during the Lok Sabha election. Only a few could mop up the expected benefits.
It may be mentioned that over a dozen Independent Corporators and some smaller parties had played a crucial role and helped BJP capture power in NMC. Now, the Code of Conduct for Assembly elections is likely to be enforced in September. Before the Code comes into force, a group of Independent Corporators is throwing its full might to usurp maximum posts of Chairmen of different committees and membership of Standing Committee. For the ruling BJP, it could prove costly if the demands of Independent Corporators are neglected again in view of coming Assembly elections.
The number of Independent Corporators in ruling equation is 16 and belongs to 3 smaller parties. The group is supposedly led by the Independent Corporator Munna Pokulwar. Other members of the group include Kishore Dorle, Savita Sangole, Ishrat Nahid Jalil Ansari, Aslam Khan, Rahul Telang, Gopichand Kumre, Vishaya Vikas Khobragade, Ravindra Dolas, Shravan Khapekar, Meena Chaudhari, Vandana Ingole, Harish Dikondwar, Bhavna Dhakne, Raju Lokhande and Parinay Fukey. Out of these names, Harish Dikondwar has been ousted from the group most probably for joining Aam Aadmi Party. There are a total of 10 subject committees and BJP has its Chairmen on 8 committees. Now, the Independent Corporators are exerting pressure on Ruling Party to bag posts of Chairmen. Some are even ready to enter BJP fold if the party offers tickets for Assembly elections and some want membership of Standing Committee from BJP quota. And the efforts for fulfillment of their demands are going on in accordance with the measure of their bargaining power.
Actually, the Mayor holds the powers to give final shape to subject committees. However, the tenure of present Mayor is coming to an end soon. The next Mayor too will be of BJP is a certainty. The race is for Deputy Mayor. If the bargaining power succeeds, an influential Independent Corporator could be the next Deputy Mayor.
Even otherwise, BJP cannot risk ditching the group of Independent Corporators in view of coming elections to Nagpur Division Graduates Constituency and Maharashtra Assembly considering the high stakes and would take appropriate decisions to calm the ruffled feathers of Independent Corporators’ hats.