Objections raised by some of the party legislators and Members of Parliament have forced chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to consult them before continuing seat-sharing talks with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for the city’s February 16 civic polls.
Chavan will meet MPs, legislators and the city Congress executive board on Sunday and Monday.
Chavan took this decision after senior Congress leader Gurudas Kamat wrote to the CM and demanded the city units’ meeting. Kamat’s supporters are seeing Chavan’s decision to consult party units as an upset for the leader’s arch-rival, city Congress president Kripashankar Singh, who wants to give the NCP more seats.
However, sources close to the CM said Chavan stunned Kamat by questioning him on the decision to give 65 of the 227 seats to the NCP in 2007. Kamat was city Congress president then. Based on this figure, the NCP has asked the Congress to give them more than 65 seats this time.
The other faction within the Congress, led by MP Priya Dutt, have also aired their grievances to Chavan. North Mumbai MP Sanjay Nirupam said he did not want the party to compromise on its strength. At the same time, however, he said the party must ensure that the Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance is voted out of the civic body. “Our priority is to win the civic polls and end the misrule of the Sena-BJP, which has been in power in the BMC for over 15 years now,” said Nirupam.
Singh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
On Sunday, three district units (Kamat, Priya and Nirupam) in the western suburbs will meet the CM. The remaining three will meet on Monday. The two parties may resume talks from Tuesday.