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Nervous parties delay candidate lists

Worried about rebellion in their ranks, political parties are delaying the release of their candidates' list for the February 16 civic polls.

mumbai Updated: Jan 28, 2012 01:55 IST
HT Correspondent

Worried about rebellion in their ranks, political parties are delaying the release of their candidates' list for the February 16 civic polls. That leaders fear rebellion was evident on Friday when Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray apologised beforehand to poll aspirants who would not make it to his party's list.

"You cannot imagine the trouble I have gone through selecting the candidates. Even today I am confused about whom to give a ticket to in some wards," said Thackeray while addressing a meeting of party workers. "You are all capable and it is disturbing for me too. You all are mine and I have conveyed this meeting just to say sorry." However, he said he was not worried about rebellion.

Nomination papers of candidates can be filed between January 24 and 31, but barring the BJP, no prominent parties have released their lists. Parties are likely to declare their candidates only in the last two days so that rebels don't have enough time to shift to other parties or file for candidature independently. The MNS has chosen to wait till Saturday or Sunday.

The Shiv Sena, which fears a large-scale exodus to the MNS and the NCP, is playing safe. Party sources said the first list will be out on Sunday and that candidates in wards where trouble is feared will be declared only on the last day.

The Congress and the NCP are likely to declare their entire list in the last two days.

Political commentators said the clout the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation wields is what's prompting party workers fight tooth-and-nail to get the tickets.

"The political aspirations of the cadres have increased given the power and the money," said Prakash Bal, political analyst. "The wards are small and a diversion of 100 votes can tilt the balance."