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With many ward boundaries changing after the delimitation and reservation of seats by the Maharashtra Election Commission, intense lobbying is on in all parties for tickets to contest the BMC polls. Several senior corporators are seeking tickets from neighbouring wards after their own wards became a reserved category seat during the lottery held earlier this year. Leaders across party lines admitted they were concerned about a spate of rebellion from aspirants refused tickets.
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According to BJP leaders, Dilip Patel, the corporator from Juhu, is now planning to contest the polls from Siddharth Nagar in Goregaon. However, former Congress corporator and now BJP secretary Sameer Desai is also keen to contest from the same ward.
Similarly, sources said, BJP corporator Vinod Shelar is seeking a ticket for his wife after his ward (No 41 in Makrani para of Malad East) was reserved for a woman from the OBC category. Gyanmurti Sharma, another BJP corporator from the adjoining area, is also eyeing the ward to field his wife. Sharma’s own ward (No 40, Raheja Complex in Dindoshi) is reserved for a woman from the open category.
In Dahisar, Shiv Sena corporator Sheetal Mhatre’s ward (No 2, Gaodevi) is now in the open general category. Abhishek Ghosalkar, another Sena corporator from the adjoining ward (No 1, Kandarpada IC Colony), is now eyeing Mhatre’s ward.
Recently, three-term Congress corporator Bhomsingh Rathod joined the Shiv Sena. While the ostensible reason was factionalism in the Congress, sources said Rathod was wary that with former legislator Rajhans Singh keen to contest the polls from Rathod’s ward (No 35, Appa Pada), his own chances of getting a ticket were affected.
“Deciding candidates is going to be tough for every seat, and the rebels who contest as independents could hurt all parties,” said a senior BJP leader. Sena leaders said preference would normally be given to the sitting corporator. “Since this election will be fought fiercely, we will have to consider the winnabilty of the candidates in the changed wards,” said a leader.