The Congress-NCP alliance suffered a setback in the run up to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation elections. More than a setback, the evident lack of coordination among the partners, has caused them a major embarrassment.
The Congress-NCP alliance failed to put up a candidate thus allowing BJP’s woman candidate Vishakha Maind getting elected unopposed from the Deekshabhoomi ward in west Nagpur area.
What makes more embarrassing for the alliance partners is that AICC general secretary and Lok Sabha member from Nagpur Vilas Muttemwar, Rajya Sabha member and AICC secretary Avinash Pande are among the voters of Deekhabhoomi ward and union minister and the CWC Mukul Wasnik and city Congress chief Jaiprakash Gupta are among the voters of neighbouring VNIT ward.
The Congress rank and file is clueless over the mess and were taken aback by the development as several Congress aspirants sought party tickets for the seat reserved for OBC (woman).
The other lone candidate from the ward, Sonali Gattewar, an independent, joined the BJP on Thursday and offered to withdraw from the fray.
While no one is willing to own up the lapse, Congress leaders themselves are not reacting officially on the issue for obvious reasons. The issue was hotly discussed during a meeting held at chief minister’s residence in Mumbai on Wednesday night and it was agreed to avoid such blunders in future.
Former Nagpur University vice chancellor Haribhau Kedar and once a senior party leader said that the development has come as a loss of face for Congress big-wigs and allowed the saffron alliance to beam with joy.
After the lapse the blame game began within the local Congress-NCP leaders. The Congress claims that the seat was left for NCP to which the NCP leaders replied that no such message were passed on to them.
Jaiprakash Gupta, the city president of Congress also admitted the mess and said that it was the responsibility of local party leaders to identify the candidate. ‘We have received two application forms from the ward. I have to inquire that why both the aspirants failed to file the nomination papers,” he added.
Meanwhile, 4,729 candidates have filed nominations for 145 seats (72 prabhags) and of which 951 candidates are contesting from north Nagpur region, a dalit dominated area.