Parties woo independent sitting corporators
Of the 12 independent corporators elected during the 2012 civic polls, four will contest the BMC polls as independent candidatesmumbai Updated: Jan 30, 2017 00:24 IST
As the Shiv-Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party announced that they would contest the civic polls solo for the first time in 15 years, both have started wooing independent candidates, who are expected to help either party if there is no clear majority.
Of the 12 independent corporators elected during the 2012 civic polls, four will contest the BMC polls — slated for February 12 — as independent candidates. Of the rest, three joined the BJP, two joined the Shiv Sena and one joined the Congress — all in the past week.
BJP and Shiv Sena sources said they are trying to recruit local ‘winnable’ leaders to join their party.
As both parties lack candidates with winning prospects in many wards, they have started poaching sitting corporators. Parties are more inclined to tap into the pool of independent candidates keeping in mind that each seat counts and the independents have a strong presence in each ward.
The candidates who are contesting independently include Makrand Narvekar, independent coporator from Colaba; Vishnu Gaikwad from Andheri (West) and Cyril D’Souza from Malad (West). “There is no question of joining any party. I am busy meeting the residents of my ward and am looking froward to working for them,”said Narvekar.
After the BJP-Sena split, this election will see a rise in number of candidates. Riding on the wave of the 2007 election, when Adolf D’ Souza, the first citizen candidate won, citizen activists are gearing up for the elections.
Owing to a lack of consensus, not many citizen candidates could win during the 2012 elections. “Many ruling parties are now fielding candidates and promoting them as citizen candidates. However, the cause is a lost one if a citizen candidate is affiliated to a political party,”said Adolf D’ Souza, who recently raised doubts about the BJP’s attempt to woo a citizen candidate in Juhu. Residents’ associations in Chembur, Govandi, Vile Parle and Juhu intend to nominate citizen candidates.