Days after the Congress NCP announced their tie-up and infused fresh excitement in the upcoming civic elections, NCP spokesperson Prakash Binsale evoked Pune's development, promising that Mumbai could benefit in a similar fashion, if voted to power.
Binsale said that although it was a smaller party in the city, NCP would adhere to strict guidelines while selecting candidates. "We are concerned about the city, especially after seeing the state of affairs. Although we are not fighting many seats in the city, we will ensure that citizens' concerns are taken care of."
Political analysts believe that although relatively weak in the city, the NCP has a real chance at power, after having allied with the Congress. Binsale's promises, in that context, assume greater significance.
The NCP spokesperson, who is an interior designer, deflected criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Vinod Tawde about lack of assistance from the Congress-NCP ruled Centre and the state. While conceding that greater coordination was needed, Binsale said: "The Centre has been releasing funds through various schemes. A city like Pune has got more than Rs3,000 crore from the Centre. Mumbai could have got a lot more from it, had the BMC coordinated well."
Binsale said: "The BMC has spent nearly 1 lakh crore in the last five years. Clearly there is no dearth of funds. However, all we hear is contractors get cost escalations, and bag projects without any tenders. With such funds at its disposal, the BMC has to start spending more effectively for it to make a difference to the quality of lives of ordinary Mumbaiites."