Candidates filed their nominations for the post of mayor and deputy mayor at the NMMC headquarters on Friday. The elections are scheduled to be held at 3pm on November 9.
Senior NCP corporator JD Sutar filed his nomination for the post of mayor. He was accompanied by Airoli MLA Sandeep Naik, former MP Sanjeev Naik, former mayor Sagar Naik and other senior party leaders.
From the Shiv Sena, Somnath Vaskar filed his nomination for the post.
Two candidates from the Congress — Mandakini Mhatre and Vaijayanti Bhagat —filed nominations for the deputy mayor’s post. Senior leaders from the Congress and its ally NCP refused to comment on this.
A middle-rung Congress leader on condition of anonymity said, “This is the outcome of an internal dispute in the party. The party will have to address the issue before the elections. Otherwise, the two candidates may create confusion among corporators. The rival party, Shiv Sena, may also take advantage of the situation.”
If the party manages to resolve the issue, one candidate is likely to withdraw her nominations, he said.
An insider from the Congress said that the party wants Bhagat to withdraw her nomination as it had unequivocally decided to pave the way for Mhatre earlier.
Dwarkanath Bhoir from Shiv Sena filed nomination for the deputy mayor’s post.
The NCP leaders and corporators appeared to be more confident as it has dominated the NMMC for the past several years. The present mayor Sudhakar Sonawane is also an NCP candidate.
Somnath Vaskar said, “There is no point in making assumptions. We should wait for the final results.”
Sonawane said he considers his tenure to be a successful one. “During my tenure, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) emerged the most creditworthy civic body in the country. Navi Mumbai was the first city in India to AA+ stable status, which is evaluated on the basis of the corporation’s financial health,” he said.
“Navi Mumbai also turned out to be the cleanest city of Maharashtra and eighth cleanest city of India, according to the survey conducted by the government India. During my tenure the corporation ensured 24×7 water supply in the city. It also noticeably improved its garbage segregation and composting. I am glad that I got the opportunity to work for the growth and development of the city,” he further said.
Talking about the possibilities in the city, he said, “Navi Mumbai can be a huge education hub of India if attention is paid in this direction.”
“We also have a lot of scope for improving the conditions of our hospitals. We have resources for doing all these, but not a freehand due to strict rules and regulations imposed by the state government. So, the government should look into the matter,” he added.