Nagpur: Most of the citizens in general and womenfolk in particular got elated when the draw of lots decided that the next Mayor of Nagpur will be a woman from Open category. But for the parties fighting Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) poll and fielded a number of women candidates, it will not be a simple equation. The first and foremost condition for a woman to become Mayor is that she must emerge winner from her ward. Secondly, her party must win the requisite number of seats to ba called the ruling party. But just winning is not a gateway to the prestigious post. For, there would be dozens of women winners and the race will be “hot.” In this NMC election, 50 percent of 151 seats have been reserved for women candidates. It simply means there would be 76 women candidates emerging winners. And this is where the problem stares the faces of major political parties.
The present ruling party – BJP – has fielded many prominent faces as their women candidates. The names are Sushma Chaudhary, Bhagyashri Kantode, Sangita Girhe, Mayatai Iwnate, Varsha Thakre, Pragati Patil, Alka Sharma, Rupa Rai, Laxmi Yadav, Vidya Kanhere, Yashashri Nandanwar, Kanta Larokar, Manisha Dhawde, Chetana Tank, Manisha Kote, Divya Ghurde, Neeta Thakre, Swati Akhatkar, Jayashri Wadibhasme, Vishakha Mohod, Meenakshi Telgote, Pallavi Shamkule, Nanda Jichkar and many more. Many of these women are sitting Corporators.
For the sake of assumption, if BJP retains power and many women candidates of the party romp home then nominating one of them for Mayoral post would nothing but a herculean task. The Prabhags from where maximum women candidates of the party emerged winners could play a vital role in deciding the next Mayor and not the wishes of a particular top gun! Every winner may stake claim for the Mayoral post for many a political reason. Not only political, but many factors come into play in deciding the next Mayor from Open category.
As for Congress, the party which is leaving no stone unturned to recapture power at NMC, has fielded its winnable women candidates prominently. They are Madhuri Sontakke, Meena Yadav, Bhavna Lonare, Neha Nikose, Satyashila Kale, Kunda Khobragade, Sneh Nikose, Gargi Chopda, Darshani Dhawad, Saraswati Salame, Tilottama Kinkhede, Mrs Juneja, Bhakti Pannase, Kalpana Sapkal, Harshala Sable, Pradnya Badwaik, Kantabai Parate, Malu Wanve, Sujata Kombade, Geeta Thakre, Nimisha Shirke, Sheela Tarade, Kamal Hiwarkar, Rekha Barahate, Ujwalatai Bankar and many more. The names also contain many incumbent Corporators.
If Congress emerges the majority party in the upcoming NMC poll, nomination of a winning woman as next Mayor could a momentous task for the party. For, there could be many staking claim to the Mayoral post. The crown could go all the way to the senior-most woman Corporator or a new face may win the race solely on the basis of merit. Situation would be dicey, to say the least.
If the present Corporators get elected again, priority could be bestowed upon them to ‘decorate’ the Mayoral post. In the BJP list, the sitting Corporators are Mayatai Iwnate, Varsha Thakre, Pragati Patil, Laxmi Yadav, Chetana Tank, Divya Ghurde, Neeta Thakre, Swati Akhatkar, Pallavi Shamkule, to name the prominent ones. On the other hand, Saraswati Salame, Bhavna Lonare, Sujata Kombade, Rekha Barahate, Ujwalatai Bankar, Nimisha Shirke, Harshala Sable and others figure in the list of candidates who are sitting Corporators. Winner among these incumbent Corporators could be in saddle at the next Mayor if seniority is considered the only criteria.
All said and done, one should keep his or her fingers crossed to guess a hazard on the next Mayor of the Orange City. Politics is different ball game, they say.
– RAJEEV RANJAN KUSHWAHA(email@example.com)