Following threats of revolt and accusations from sections of the city Congress unit that their representatives are not being given tickets for the polls, the party high command on Friday constituted a high-powered committee to decide on the official nominees.
Mohan Prakash, member of the Congress working committee and state in-charge, made the announcement.
The Congress has so far received 1,450 applications from aspirants. The party will contest in 169 wards, while its alliance partner, the NCP, will fight in 58 wards. The nominations have to be filled between January 24 and 31, and can be withdrawn before February 3.
Despite allegations of high-handedness, Mumbai Congress president Kripashankar Singh is in charge of the panel. The committee comprises leaders of all sections and chiefs of all its frontal organisations. The party's MPs, not officially nominated, will be special invitees on the committee. Bharat Sinh Solanki, Union minister of state for railways, is the central observer.
Earlier this week, Ganesh Kamble president, Congress backward class cell, and Ajit Sawant, city unit general secretary and spokesperson, had revolted against Singh, accusing him of not giving loyalists their due. Both have threatened to field party workers against official nominees. Sources said Prakash tried to make the selection process all-inclusive in view of the threats.
MPs Murli Deora and Gurudas Kamat, state ministers Narayan Rane, Suresh Shetty, Arif Nassem Khan and Varsha Gaikwad will be part of the selection process.
Kripashankar told HT that the list of candidates will be released by January 28 to 29.