ANNOUNCING its preparedness to go solo in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) without an alliance with Congress, the Nationalist Congress Party Thursday announced its first list of 45 candidates . Among the names announced are four women candidates married to sitting NCP corporators.
The NCP is the first party to announce a list of candidates, even before the announcement of the poll code of conduct, which is expected to come into force next week. The party has given tickets to the kin of some party leaders. NCP chief spokesperson Nawab Malik’s brother Captan Malik and sister Dr Saida Khan, the latter a sitting corporator, have been given tickets. Three sitting corporators have also been repeated among the 45.
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Also, Nilesh Bhosale, president of the city NCP youth wing, and Nadia Shaikh and Zeenat Quereshi from the city NCP Yuvati wing are in the list. The NCP’s Yuvati wing is headed by party MP Supriya Sule.
In the 2012 polls, the NCP won 13 seats. One NCP corporator recently joined the Shiv Sena.
Party leaders said an attempt has been made to give candidature to representatives of all communities. So among the 45 are 11 Muslim candidates, five Buddhists and four north Indians. “There have been repeated signals from the city Congress leadership about not forming an alliance. But we are keen on forming an alliance with like-minded parties,” said Sachin Ahir, president of the city unit of the NCP, after announcing the list.
Senior NCP leaders said the party is likely to contest 100-odd seats in the 227-member BMC. “We have prepared to contest solo and will field candidates in areas where we have strong presence,” said Ahir.
However, the Congress said it had already announced that it would not form an alliance with the NCP. “Around two months ago, we consulted all senior leaders of the part,y who were of the view that we should contest on our own strength. We then conveyed the same to the higher-ups in Delhi, who have given us a green signal for contesting solo. So, every party is free to announce their lists,” said Sanjay Nirupam, president of the city unit of the Congress.