Too few open seats, too many contenders | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Too few open seats, too many contenders

Though not many are willing to admit it, the tussle for party tickets for the forthcoming civic polls has intensified.

mumbai Updated: Nov 21, 2011 01:20 IST
Bhavika Jain

Though not many are willing to admit it, the tussle for party tickets for the forthcoming civic polls has intensified.

This is because many sitting corporators, who have lost their wards due to 50 per cent reservation for women this year, are desperately trying to contest from other wards. Besides, many political heavyweights too have thrown their hats into the ring.

Several former corporators, who held key posts in the civic body but are now in political wilderness, have been sending feelers to their respective parties for tickets.

According to civic sources, senior leaders like Ram Bhankal, former mayors Datta Dalvi and Mahadeo Deole, former leader of the house Digambar Kandarkar from Shiv Sena, former opposition leaders like Gunwant Seth, Kisan Jadhav and Ravindra Pawar from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have expressed an interest to contest. According to Shiv Sena sources, even the name of former MLA Arvind Nerkar has been doing the rounds.

“This is a very worrying trend. There is already an imbalance after the 50 per cent reservation for women. Now if the parties agree to give the former leaders a chance from the open seats it will lead to lots of infighting,” said a senior corporator whose ward has been reserved for women.

After the lottery for various reservations, only 77 out of the 227 seats in the civic body are left for the open category.

Agreeing that he is planning to contest the polls, Ravindra Pawar said “Like everybody else, I am interested in contesting, but it is up to the party to decide to whom to give ticket.”

Digambar Kandarkar of Shiv Sena said, “Though I am not very keen to contest polls, if the party decides to field me, I will have to take into confidence the party workers.” He had joined the MNS before returning to the Sena.

Though the names of former mayors Mahadev Deole and Hareshwar Patil (who is now in the Congress) are also doing the rounds both denied that they wanted to contest the civic polls.