Published On : Fri, Jan 27th, 2017

Is Congress ‘hunting’ parties for “Grand Alliance” for NMC poll?

Bugle has been sounded. Nominations commenced from January 27. Everything is getting in place for Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) poll to be held on February 21. But the picture is still hazy on alliance front. The major parties are on tenterhook to strike an alliance with the winnable parties. Congress is sailing on the same boat.

The Congress think-tank is seemingly burning midnight oil and pondering whether to go it alone or have a truck with other parties to rule the NMC. The age-old party is eying a tie-up with NCP-Muslim League Front, Samajwadi Party and Lokmanch. But the hurdle is demand for seats. NCP is demanding more than two dozens, Samajwadi Party 8, and Lokmanch 9 seats. But the seat demand is not the only hurdle. The workers of NCP front are not so in favour of alliance with Congress. If Congress fails to fulfill their quota of seats, then tie-up with NCP would not be possible.

Samajwadi Party, on the basis of alliance with Congress in Uttar Pradesh, is demanding eight seats for the NMC poll.
On the other hand, Lokmanch is an “old colleague” of Congress in NMC. Hence the demand for nine seats. Congress is ready to share only 6 seats. But the alliance has still not been sealed.

The other picture is also different. Republican Party (Kawade) last week had announced contesting of NMC poll from 75 seats. But an “assurance” from BJP forced them to think twice. Now, Congress is “forcing” Prof Kawade to get nominated as MLC from the quota of the party. Congress is wooing other opposition parties to toe their line. If Kawade group shakes hands with Congress, the party will have to share 2-5 seats to the small group. If the ‘grand alliance’ takes shape, it would only be lacking TMC, JD(U) and RJD.

Youth Congress demand:
The youth wing of Congress has put forth a demand of 22 tickets. In all, 1100 Congressmen have staked claim for tickets in 38 Prabhags. Congress is making a claim that the party is distributing tickets on merit. Out of 1100, 150 ticket seekers belong to youth wing. The youth have knocked the doors of State Youth Congress President Vishwajit Kadam for justice. Taking a serious note, Kadam has reportedly called a meeting of office-bearers of Youth Congress and even summoned a list of “efficient” candidates. The list has been sent to him on January 22.

Moreover, some of the new entrants including Kishore Dorle, Manoj Sangole, too are hoping for ticket from their Prabhags. In East Nagpur, Anil Pande wants not one but four tickets each for his supporters. In this situation, it will be a herculean task for Congress to make everybody content and avert a revolt.