With their wards lost to delimitation or to fresh reservation, corporators who had switched parties recently in the hope of better political prospects now have an uncertain future. Corporator Ishwar Tayade, who switched to Shiv Sena from MNS, is one of them. His ward no 151 (Chandivli village in Kurla) has been split and the newly formed ward is for women from the other backward class (OBC) category. “Though there is an adjoining ward for open category candidates, it has a sitting corporator from the Sena. So, I don’t know whether that seat will be offered to me. If not, I may not fight the polls but will work for any candidate announced by the party,” Tayade said.
Another corporator Geeta Chavan’s ward (Khira Nagar in Santacruz West) is now for the open category. Since Chavan is from the OBC category, it is now difficult for her to contest the election. “There are many candidates from the open category. Still, I can contest from the seat if the party decides to field me,” said Chavan, who switched to the Shiv Sena from the MNS.
Similarly, corporator Sukhada Pawar’s ward no 82 has now been reserved for the OBC category. Pawar switched to BJP from the MNS and is now looking for a suitable ward to contest from. “I don’t have a ward now. Though the party committed candidature to me earlier, I don’t know what will happen now,” said Pawar, adding that she would contest from any ward that the party would offer.
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Corporator Prakash Darekar, who switched to BJP from the MNS, finds his ward split into two and one new ward reserved for the OBC category. “I am looking for a ward. I may contest from the old ward,” said Darekar, adding that the party would take the final call. The ward of Savita Pawar, who joined the Shiv Sena from NCP, too has been divided into two. Also, it is now for the open category, which has increased her uncertainty about contesting.
Sena leaders said the scrambling over the wards is bound to happen. “Apart from those who have joined the party, there are local contenders such as shakha pramukhs or others who would like to contest. It would be a tough call for the party to decide the candidate. Also, the party would not want to hurt anyone as it could cause damage in the elections, which the party can’t afford,” said a Sena leader.