The uproar among Congress aspirants forced the party leaders to hold back the list of the candidates till late evening on Friday. The AB forms — the authentication of candidature by the party— were secretively distributed to candidates on Friday morning, the last day of filing nomination. The party has given candidature to 111 Marathi-speaking candidates followed by 35 North Indians and 39 Muslims. By upping the number of North Indian candidates, the party has also tried to give a tough time to the BJP which has been trying hard to woo the community.
The Congress has fielded Muslim candidates from wards in Chandivli and Charkop.
Surprisingly, it has not fielded any Marathi candidate for six wards in Vile Parle, dominated by the community. The party had to drop seven names from its first list of 115 candidates. Nayana Sheth for the ward No 177 seat was replaced by Maniktala Kaur after the fight reached senior leaders in Delhi. Party’s sitting corporator Binita Vora was accommodated in the final list.
The unrest among the aspirants led to the rebellion by workers who have filed their nominations as Independents. From ward 96, Zakir Shaikh and sitting corporator Gulista Shaikh filed forms after the party announced Sharif Qadri as its candidate.
Ramzan Chaudhari was fielded from ward 164 instead of Sainath Katke.
Former opposition leader in the BMC Rajhans Singh’s son Nitesh, who was eyeing candidature from ward 165, has been shifted to the neighbouring ward 166 to accommodate sitting Samajwadi Party corporator Ashraf Azmi who had defected to the Congress with his wife, Dilshad Azmi.
Among other relatives of the sitting or former corporators are: Vijaylaxmi, sister of corporator Shivanand Shetty; Sushama, wife of Vinod Shekhar; and Rajapati Yadav, husband of Geeta. Pravin Chheda, Sheetal Mhatre, Parul Mehta, Sangeeta Handore are some of the heavyweights in the fray.