Election fever is back again in the city. After the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, it is the 4th General body elections of NMMC due in the last week of March or 1st week of April. The reservation of the 89 wards saw several sitting corporators losing their constituencies. Most of the male corporators are bent upon fielding their spouses, where the open wards have been reserved for females and the husbands or children will be contesting in wards which are not reserved for females. But one thins is certain, the scramble for party tickets and the insistence of sitting corporators to hold on to their candidature speak volumes of the stakes in the civic polls. With the Project Affected People progressing in all field of activity in the city, they are staking their claim for a larger share in the civic pie by seeking candidature not only in the villages but also in all the urban nodes in large numbers. There are strong PAP contenders in all the major political parties contenders will have to contest as independents. The NCP supreme in the city Ganesh Naik has a band of loyal PAPs and non PAPs including many related to him, who constitute a major political force in the city. The Congress party is a widely divided House owing allegiance to various factions including the Ganesh Naik loyalists. Even the Shiv Sena is a divided House with pro and anti Vijay Chowgule elements and also some still aligned to Ganesh Naik. The BJP has consolidated its presence due to Suresh Haware’s leadership but has failed to project a changing image with the old failing candidates continuing to stake their claim and making no headway for the party. Inspite of a strong anti-incumbency factor looming over the ruling NCP in the city, the recent Lok Sabha and Assembly elections victory of Sanjeev Naik, Ganesh Naik and Sandeep Naik would certainly tilt the odds in favor of the Ganesh Naik factions in the city in all parties including independents. Though the odds are in favor if the Ganesh Naik factions, yet the opponents can spring a surprise, if they succeed in reaching out the foul play in the Corporation to the masses. However the track record of NMMC as compared to the neighboring MCGM and TMC gives the ruling NCP an upper hand and the experience in poll strategies of Ganesh Naik renders the NCP a very formidable force in the city. Much will also depend on the candidates fielded by respective parties. Independent candidates and those from other smaller parties could divide the electorate on a large scale, but this too would benefit the ruling Ganesh Naik factions, a great deal. Hence the NMMC election will be mainly Ganesh Naik factions in NCP and other parties including independents versus anti-Ganesh Naik factions in NCP and other parties including independents. And if the direction of political waves are any indication, then it looks like the Ganesh Naik faction is likely to get a comfortable hold in the fray to NMMC Municipal Elections 2010.
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