The ruling Congress is facing an uncomfortable moment in the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) elections, to be held next month, as it distributed B forms to more than one candidate in 11 wards out of 136.
There was complete chaos in the Congress till Tuesday, the last day for submitting the nominations as the major groups within the party-the Guardian minister Satish Chaturvedi and the union minister Vilasrao Muttemwar faction-tried hard to include their supporters in the list. This had led to such chaos that somehow both the groups succeeded to obtain B form for their supporters in 11 wards. There were also reports that some Congress leaders had virtually snatched the form from Nitin Deshpande, the MPCC general secretary, who was authorised by the MPCC chief Prabha Rau to issue B form for the official candidates.
It was too late by the time the MPCC chief Rau sent a list of official nominees of Congress in the NMC elections to the State Election Commissioner, Nand Lal, on Tuesday evening. While sending a list of 11 official candidates, Rau urged Lal to consider her list of candidates as official nominees. She urged him to take only those names mentioned by her since in some wards more than one person have filed papers as official candidate.
"We can't do anything at the moment as Ms Rau submitted the list after the deadline," pointed out Ajay Ramteke, the additional deputy commissioner and the election officer of NMC. The deadline to submit the nominations for the elections was Tuesday, till 3.00 pm. But the election office got the list of 11 nominees, submitted by PCC chief Rau only on Tuesday at 5.00 pm. As per the guidelines of the State Election Commission, the submission of nominations as well as the B forms had to end by 3.00 pm unless there is a queue for submission.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Ramteke said that among these candidates, who filed the nomination form first along with the B form will be treated as the official candidate while who filed nomination later than the earlier one will have to contest as independent and will not be able to contest the elections under the Congress symbol. "Any appeal in this regard will not be entertained," he further added.
Meanwhile, the city BJP president, Sudhakar Deshmukh sent to letter to the state election commissioner to freeze the Congress symbols in those ward constituencies where more than one person submitted B form.