Rebellion will be a major cause of worry for the two major alliances that go to the October 13 Assembly polls as it could even lead to a fractured mandate.
“Rebellion will surely affect poll results this time,” said Surendra Jondhale, head of department of civic and politics, University of Mumbai. Assembly elections in 1995 and 1999, when there were multi-cornered contests, threw up hung assemblies.
Across the state, the number of rebels reached close to 100. About a dozen rebels jumped into the fray to damage official candidates of parties in Mumbai alone. “Every other politician wants to gain power overnight without working hard,” said state Congress spokesperson Anant Gadgil, who has been trying for a party ticket for three elections but did not revolt even once.
A senior Congress leader said the highhandedness of party leadership and dynasty politics also causes rebellion. Gadgil also blamed delimitation.
The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are not unfamiliar with revolts. But rebellion in the saffron combine known for its discipline is surprising.
Sena’s Sada Sarvankar will contest on a Congress ticket from Mahim after being denied a ticket by Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray.
Prominent Congress and NCP candidates who may face the heat include President Pratibha Patil’s son Rajendra Shekhawat who will be opposed by sitting Congress legislator Dr Sunil Deshmukh in Amravati.
The Congress’ plan for an easy victory in Mumbadevi was foiled by NCP legislator Bashir Patel who joined the Samajwadi Party and will take on Congress’ Amin Patel. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Atul Bhatkalkar will contest against party nominee Jaiprakash Thakur in Kandivli. BJP’s Poonam Mahajan also faces trouble from partyman Mukund Thorat in her Ghatkopar West constituency.
However, Jondhale said that if several rebels and independents win, parties could bank on their support to form government.