The unexpected happened on November 3 when all political parties fielded their candidates for the Mayoral polls slated to be held on November 9 in Navi Mumbai. There were speculations the NCP leader Ganesh Naik would give candidature to former Mayor Sagar Naik’s father in law, NCP corporator Vinod Mhatre but instead senior corporator J D Sutar arrived to file his nominations. NCP ensured that from their MLA Sandeep Naik, Mayor Sudhakar Sonawane to Sanjeev Naik, Sagar Naik and all corporators remained present as show of strength for nomination filing.
On the other hand, Shiv Sena’s Opposition Leader in NMMC Vijay Chougule stunned most as remained absent while Shiv Sena corporator Somnath Vaskar arrived in NMMC to file his nominations.
Lastly, it didn’t come as a surprise that the always divided Congress factions in Navi Mumbai proved they are still far from being united. Navi Mumbai Congress President Dashrath Bhagat’s wife Vijayant Bhagat filed her nomination as a rebel candidate for the post of Dy. Mayor while Ashok Chavan loyalist Ramakant Mhatre’s wife Mandakini Mhatre filed her nominations as the official Congress candidate. Ramakant Mhatre’s proximity to Ashok Chavan did the trick as there were more experienced and eligible corporators like Hemangi Sonawane.
Even as political analysts and observers tried to decipher what happened, came reactions from NCP and Shiv Sena. Both termed their strategy as “Sau Sonar Ki Ek Lohar Ki”. Which means “One powerful blow is comparable to hundred smaller blows.’
NCP believes that their leader Ganesh Naik check mated the Shiv Sena with his political acumen by fielding J D Sutar who will comfortably win the Mayoral polls on November 9. With 67 NCP, Congress and Independent, NCP will win the elections against 37 corporators of Shiv Sena as BJP has decided to remain neutral. On the other hand, Shiv Sena’s OL Vijay Chougule is being seen as the real Baazigar of the battle. So who is the goldsmith and who is the iron smith?
There isn’t any doubt that Ganesh Naik has once again proven that in Navi Mumbai atleast, the buck of winning political games often stop at him. He is and will be the master of them all unless fate decided otherwise. On the other hand, what Vijay Chougule did with Mayor elections cannot be undermined. He kept NCP on the edge of the seat for the last six months. By constantly telling the media in unofficial conversations that he is the Mayoral candidate and that NCP corporators and the Congress would break away from Ganesh Naik to vote for him, he did make corporators “valuable” to the Naiks who are otherwise accused of taking all corporators, including from their own party, for granted. The fact that despite having the strength, NCP had to muster support even from NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar for the Mayoral polls in an indication, that the political going is going to get tougher for the Naiks in Navi Mumbai. In Vijay Chougule, the Naiks have their biggest challenge and he is bound to make upcoming Lok Sabha and assembly elections for the Naiks fiercer, more aggressive and more cut throat than ever before. Bureau report – NMTV News.