In three outings so far, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has not left much of a mark in the Mumbai civic polls with a maximum tally of 14 seats out of a possible 227. In order to better its performance, the NCP has fallen back on local dynasties. Wives, daughters, sons, brothers of several party leaders feature in the party’s list. In fact, multiple tickets have been allotted in some of the loyal political families. With the NCP not seen as a serious contender for the seat of power, the move is being dubbed by many as an attempt by Pawar to keep his flock together.
There are three families from which two or more members have been given party tickets. They include Maharashtra’s former minister Nawab Malik, whose daughter Sana (ward no 165, Kurla village), brother Kaptan (ward no 170, Kasaiwada), and sister Dr Saeeda Khan (ward no.168, Shikshak Nagar), have all been nominated to contest on an NCP ticket.
Party’s sitting corporator Haroon Khan too has cornered a couple of seats for his family. While he has not entered the election fray this time, his wife Jyoti and son Roshan are party contestants. Another party leader Ajit Raorane and his wife Roopali, a sitting corporator, are both in the fray from separate wards in Dindoshi. Several of the party contestants are old hands.
The NCP’s election manifesto, which was released Thursday, promises free water up to 700 litres per day to families. It has also promised free electricity for low-end power consumers, and subsidised bus transport.