A day after the Congress and the NCP worked out their seat-sharing agreement after much debate, the NCP’s decision to concede the Shastri Nagar seat in Goregaon to the Congress has met with opposition.
NCP’s local ward president Shashank Rao, son of auto union leader Sharad Rao, was looking to contest from Shastri Nagar and sources say he is likely to rebel against the party decision. The ward number 50 seats is unreserved and both parties wanted to contest from there.
The Congress wants the seat for corporator Sameer Desai, nephew of Congress MP Gurudas Kamat, as his current seat has been reserved for women candidates.
However, Shashank, who has been born and raised in this ward, wanted it was also looking to contest from here. “Though the ward has been given to the Congress, talks are going on at the party-level,” he said. Sources close to him said that there Shashank is unlikely to relent and contesting from the neighbouring ward. They said that if nothing else works out, he could contest as an independent.
But the ward holds importance for the Congress too, which views the upcoming polls as an opportunity to win it ward. The sitting corporator in the ward is Sena’s Rajan Padhye, who won it in June 2010, in a bypoll necessitated by the death of Congress’ RR Pillai.
Reacting to the news of Shashank’s opposition, Desai said: “We need to identify that our first enemy is the Shiv Sena. Rao has always been a socialist and secular-minded persons and this is an opportunity to defeat communal forces.”
If Rao refuses to toe the party line, and contests as a rebel, it would be a cause for concern for the Congress.