Suspending two functionaries for accusing senior leaders of nepotism and corruption, the Congress came out with its final list of civic poll candidates that included sons, wife and sisters of prominent legislators.
Fearing large-scale rebellion, the party did not declare the 28 names on Tuesday, the last day of filing nominations. But it asked all candidates officially named to file their nominations a day after.
The relatives who have been given tickets include Prathamesh Kolambkar (son of MLA Kalidas Kolambkar, ward 184), Samir Chavan (son of MLA Madhu Chavan, ward 204), Sagar Singh (son of MLA Ramesh Thakur, ward 26), Nitesh Singh (MLA Rajhans Singh’s son, ward 159), Sangeeta Handore (wife of MLA Chandrakant Handore, ward 148) and Qumarjahan Siddiqui (sister of MLA Aslam Sheikh, ward 43).
Siddiqui replaced Varsha Kamble, who got party’s nod on Tuesday. However, personal assistants to MP Sanjay Nirupam, Babu Roy and George Abraham were denied tickets. While Ramesh Thakur, Rajhans Sinh and Aslam Sheikh are sitting corporators who did not vacate their seats after getting elected to the legislative Assembly. Consequently, they have now secured seats for their kin to carry their political legacy in the BMC. Chandrakant Handore is a former mayor and minister.
Earlier in the day, state Congress president Manikrao Thakre expelled party functionaries Ajit Sawant and Vidyarthi Singh for criticising party leadership publicly. Sawant is close aide of Congress’ North West Mumbai MP Gurudas Kamat. He had accused the party leadership of nepotism and corruption and threatened to field 40 rebel candidates.
“I did nothing wrong by voicing a common concern. Nepotism and corruption is rampant in allotment of poll tickets. I feel bad about that the party did not give me an opportunity to explain my stand. I have been suspended directly for violation of the democratic values of the Congress,” said Sawant.