After being defeated by the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP -RPI alliance in the BMC elections,the Congress-NCP alliance is now struggling to find suitable candidates for the post of leader of opposition and also party leader in the BMC.
While Shiv Sena has a host of candidates in the running for the post of the leader of House,Congress and NCP will face a tough task in finding corporators to lead the parties in the civic bodys general meeting and represent them in major committees,including Standing Committee and Improvement Committee,which decide on financing projects and land related matters respectively,sources said.
Congress corporator and Standing Committee member Waqarunnisa Ansari said,It is a big challenge to find a suitable candidate for the post of the leader of opposition. While there are new faces,who might be given a chance,they will lack the experience.
Congress heavyweight and member of Standing Committee,Sameer Desai,who was being seen a likely candidate for the leader of the House,was defeated by Shiv Senas Raju Padhye in the elections. Another veteran corporator from Dahisar,Rajendra Chaubey,was also defeated by Shiv Senas new entrant,Abhishek Ghosalkar.
The leader of opposition is an important post and typically the candidate is a good orator with a knowledge of the functioning of BMC and other important issues. The person is expected to be well-trained and sharp in facing the ruling party in the general body meetings. He also puts forth arguments and objections to certain policies and projects,which the ruling party wants to pass but the opposition might reject. The outgoing leader of opposition in BMC is MLA and Congress leader Rajhans Singh.
While the Congress seems to be struggling with lack of experienced corporators in the civic body,NCP too saw the defeat of its heavyweight and three-time corporator Niyaz Vanu. He held the post of leader of NCP in BMC and was also a Standing Committee member. He was defeated by BJPs Mahant Chaube in ward 171. NCP also saw the exit of heavyweight corporators such as Vidya Chavan,who was member of the Improvement Committee.
While Shiv Senas Sunil Prabhu,Rahul Shewale,Yashodhar Phanse and Surendra Bagalkar are being considered for the post of mayor,one of these might also be considered for the post of leader of house.
Shiv Senas senior leader and MLA Ravindra Waikar said,Among the shortlisted candidates,one might be for the post of mayor and another candidate,who is equally experienced and a good orator,might be selected for post of the leader of House.