Political empowerment of women envisaged through 50% reservation for them in civic bodies will be given a pass in the upcoming Mumbai polls with male corporators making plans to keep a hold over their constituencies.
With wards being reserved for women, male corporators have begun lobbying for tickets for their wives and other female family members. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for instance, is currently witnessing requests from leaders such as Peddar Road corporator Arvind Bane, who is lobbying hard for a seat for his wife.
Sources said former corporator Arvind Parmar, who had nominated wife Kokila after the ward got reserved in 2007, is also trying to take the seat back from his wife. While city chief and former MLA Raj Purohit is said to be lobbying for a ticket for his daughter-in-law from Mumbadevi, former corporator Parag Alavani is trying for a seat for his wife, Jyoti.
The Congress is also seeing requests from corporators like Vitthal Lokare and Upendra Doshi. The Nationalist Congress party (NCP), with just seven male corporators, received requests from three corporators — Byculla’s Mangesh Bansode, Kurla’s Kaptan Malik and Chandivali’s Sharad Pawar — for tickets for their wives.
Meanwhile, the Shiv Sena has received requests by mayor Shraddha Jadhav for tickets for her son and her husband.
Vidya Chavan, NCP corporator and MLC, who has been campaigning for women empowerment, said the trend was short-lived. “Many parties don’t have enough women activists. Hence, male corporators are forced to nominate their wives in case they can’t contest the polls themselves.”
Sources said ‘winnability’ was the biggest factor in handing out tickets besides money power. “If we give tickets to the wives, we have a chance to win a seat as opposed to reposing faith in a new woman candidate,” said a senior Congress functionary.