Next NMC polls on Prabhag system may prove ‘gainful’ for BJP, say the strategists

Nagpur: The ruling dispensation in the State as well as in NMC, after lengthy deliberations and weighing pros and cons, has decided to conduct the next Nagpur Municipal Corporation election on the basis of Prabhag system. The next NMC polls are slated to be held around February in 2017. The election on Prabhag system would prove beneficial for the ruling BJP, say the insiders. However, the formal announcement regarding the system is likely to be made in Mumbai where the State Budget Session is going on.

On Monday (March 14), a meeting, held in the chamber of Mayor Pravin Datke and attended by functionaries of RSS, BJP and VHP on the 2017 NMC poll, sparked wild speculations among political parties. The meeting most probably drew a winning strategy for the next election including bringing the sulking leaders of other political parties in the BJP fold. A number of “disappointed” leaders of other major parties post Lok Sabha and Assembly elections are eager to join the ruling party for “gainful interests.’ In fact many such sulking leaders had openly helped the BJP candidates in the hope of grabbing plum posts. But a only few succeeded in grabbing the posts.

The all imporatant meeting may have also deliberated on the sort of problem the army of ticket aspirants in the party would pose in the next election. If the BJP goes alone, it would be confronted with 4-5 aspirants of tickets in each ward if polls were to be held on ward system. It clearly means that 3-4 rivals within the party would be created in each ward once the tickets are distributed. This could prove detrimental to the winning prospects of the party. This likely-defeat scenario is gripping the RSS, BJP and VHP leaders. The Prabhag system and going alone could hence prove beneficial for the BJP, was the line of thinking at the meeting held at Mayor’s chamber.

According to the participants of the meeting the Mayor informed them that the next NMC election should be held on Prabhag system. Each Prabhag should comprise 4 wards. A former Chairman of Standing Committee said that a meeting of the party is going be held either in Nagpur or Mumbai. The consensus decision of the meeting will be conveyed to the State-level leaders. The formal announcement on the Prabhag system would possibly be made tomorrow in Mumbai.

The Prabhag system election, comprising 4 wards each, could prove easier for BJP in distribution of tickets. The aspirants of tickets in BJP alone would be reduced to half in this system. Thereafter, the winning candidates would be selected by BJP, RSS and VHP by giving tickets to their loyal ones from Prabhags. If tie-up is hammered out, then the party would not field candidates in Shiv Sena areas. In the rest, the party would go 90 percent of seats leaving the 10 percent to friendly parties. Another thinking is that the party would offer the tickets to such BJP men who were non-BJP cadre but powerful enough to win the poll from where the party faced bleak chances or no hope at all of winning the seats.

Notably, BJP is rulling from ‘galli’ to Delhi and the party had doled out a flood of promises to voters. The outcome of this could naturally be seen in the next NMC poll. The Shiv Sena, suffering from step-brotherly treatment, still holding the waters, can try to inflict wounds in the winning prospects of BJP. The next NMC poll, therefore, would prove a litmus test for Devendra Fadnavis and Nitin Gadkari as far as their popularity is concerned.

– by Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha ( )