For the Mira Bhayander civic polls, the BJP, the Shiv Sena, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are fighting separately. But the contest seems to be between the BJP and the Sena, which has inducted several leaders from other parties in the last few months.
Some of the major issues highlighted by the political parties this time are, good governance, metro lines, water supply, police commissionarate for the satellite town, cricket stadium and setting up revenue office among others.
The civic body ruled by the BJP has promised the residents to turn the satellite town to the smart city.
Of the total 95 seats in the civic body, the BJP has fielded candidates in 90. Four seats have been given to Ramdas Athavale-led Republican Party of India.
The Congress has won one seat unopposed after the returning officer rejected the nomination of the BJP and Sena candidates due to caste certificate issues. The polls for the 94 seats will be held on August 20. BJP leaders said many ministers from the state and the Centre would be campaigning extensively ahead of the polls. Union Minister Purushottam Rupala and BJP MP Kirit Somaiya addressed two public gatherings on Sunday.
Union Ministers, Smriti Irani and Babul Supriyo and Delhi state BJP president Manoj Tiwari, along with others, will also address public rallies. Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis is also likely to address a few meetings, said a BJP leader.
“Considering BJP’s victory in the local body polls, we are sure of winning with majority. We will focus on turning the town into a smart city and transparency,” said Mehta adding that many initiatives of the state and Union government would be highlighted during the campaigns.
The Sena has increased its tally from 14 to 32 by inducting several corporators and leaders from other parties, including former NCP legislator Gilbert Mendonca.
Sources in the Sena said it was part of a strategy to strengthen the party in the satellite town in which, the Marathi speaking community is in minority. Of the total seats, Sena has given tickets to 38 non-Marathi candidates from Gujarati, Marwari, north Indian, Christian, Muslim and south Indian communities.
“Firstly, we focused on getting the corporators and leaders from other parties to increase our tally in the civic body. Then, induction of leaders like Mendonca will help the party in few wards considering his following. It is social engineering to incorporate all communities to get the majority in the civic body,” said a Sena leader adding that the party has also promised property tax waiver on lines of Mumbai.
While Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray held a road show on Saturday, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray will address a public meeting on August 17, the leader added. By wining one seat unopposed, the workers’ morale in the Congress party that has fielded 75 candidates has got a boost.
“There have been several corruption allegations against the local BJP leadership. Our fight is against the BJP and the Sena to make the civic body corruption free,” said Rajesh Sharma, the Congress general secretary. Congress state president and MP Ashok Chavan is expected to address few meetings in the
With Mendonca and the other corporators leaving the party, the NCP that has fielded 67 candidates, is facing a tough challenge from the other political parties. Sanjiv Naik, a former NCP MP, has been campaigning extensively to retain the hold on the region.
In the 2012 polls, the BJP had emerged as the single largest party with 29 seats.It was followed by the NCP with 27 seats. The Congress and the Sena had won 19 and 14 seats, respectively. The other seats had been bagged by Independants and other parties.