All 28 corporators from Malegaon civic body join NCP in major jolt to Congress in Maharashtra
The election to the Malegaon Municipal Corporation is scheduled this year. In the last elections, Congress had won 28 seats in the civic body that governs the Muslim-dominated Malegaon city in North Maharashtra. It won on its own but now it’s entire unit in the civic body has quit the party.
In a major setback to Congress, all its 28 corporators from the Malegaon Municipal Corporation joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday. The corporators included Mayor Tahira Shaikh who joined the other ruling ally in the presence of deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and state NCP president Jayant Patil.
Congress is part of the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government along with Shiv Sena and NCP. The move is likely to upset the Congress, which is already protesting over not being included in key decisions and allocation of less funds to departments held by its ministers.
The election to the municipal corporation is scheduled this year. In the last elections, Congress had won 28 seats in the civic body that governs the Muslim-dominated Malegaon city in North Maharashtra. It won on its own but now it’s entire unit in the civic body has quit the party.
“We were planning to hold a huge rally for induction of the corporators but it could not be held because of the Covid-19 pandemic as daily cases are being detected in big numbers. Ultimately it was decided to hold it at the party office. NCP chief Sharad Pawar has never discriminated against people over religion, caste, creed or relations,” said Ajit Pawar after inducting the corporators along with the mayor at the NCP headquarters at Ballard Pier.
Atul Londhe, the Congress spokesperson said that the people of Malegaon are with Congress. “Even if corporators have left the party, the people of Malegaon city are with the Congress. This time again the party will win the upcoming civic body elections,” said Londhe.
Significantly, Congress candidate in the last assembly elections Asif Shaikh resigned from the party last year. He is likely to join NCP. Shaikh was a Congress MLA but was defeated in the 2019 elections by AIMIM candidate Mufti Mohammad Ismail.