A DAY after losing their electoral wards to delimitation and reservation, many senior corporators are now looking to fielding their kin, spouse or an offspring in the ensuing civic body elections in Mumbai in the hope of retaining control over their constituency. Corporators from all parties, including MNS, BJP, Congress and NCP, have began to discuss with party seniors the possibility of fielding their wives or any other family member. MNS corporator Sudhir Jadhav’s ward no 184 is reserved for a woman from the open category this time. Snehal, his wife, is likely to seek a ticket to contest this seat.
“The party will take a call on this. My wife belongs to SC category but she can contest from the open category. Earlier, she had represented the ward three times when it was reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) category and also when it was in the open category. In 2012, I got elected after the ward was reserved for Other Backward Caste (OBC) general. We have been representing the ward for the last two decades and hope people will continue to reward us,” said Jadhav, who belongs to the OBC community. BJP corporator Vinod Shelar’s ward no 26 has also been reserved for a woman OBC candidate.
“His wife is from the OBC community. So, he can field his wife from his ward in elections but the party will take a final call on this,” said a BJP member. Shelar, who belongs to the Maratha community, is the brother of Ashish Shelar, president of the Mumbai unit of BJP. Like Shelar, another BJP corporator Gyanmurti Sharma’s ward 40 has also been reserved for a woman from the open category. Sources said Sharma, an OBC candidate, may field his wife from the ward. Else, he would have to search a new ward for himself, which may turn out to be a tough task.
Congress corporator Brian Miranda is also likely to field his wife, Tulip, from his ward no 84, which has been reserved for a woman from the OBC category. Tulip is also the general secretary of the Mumbai Congress women’s wing. Sources said that since the East Indian community was a part of the OBC category, she could contest the polls. “I have done a lot of work. Also, my wife is an advocate. People have expressed their desire about fielding my wife from the ward. The party will take a call on it,” said Brian. Another Congress Corporator Mohsin Haider’s ward no 61 has also been reserved for an OBC woman candidate. He too may field his wife from this ward.
Senior NCP corporator Dhananjay Pisal’s ward no 110 is reserved for a woman from the open category and he says he is likely to field his wife Bharti for the seat. “My wife had been a corporator from the area earlier. So, she can contest the polls considering her experience. I will fight from a ward in Bhandup. It is to increase our tally,” said Pisal, who is an NCP group leader in the BMC. Political observers said sitting corporators fielding their family members was on expected lines. “We can then manage to retain our control on the ward. While some corporators have decided to field their kin, others will decide soon as not much time is left now,” added one corporator.