BJP Rule in NMMC

Political Turmoil in the Offing

Belapur: With NCP supremo in Navi Mumbai, Ganesh Naik all set to form an independent group in the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation by pledging allegiance to the BJP on September 11, the political equation in the city will undergo a total transformation.

The NCP ruled NMMC will automatically transform into a BJP majority Corporation, as Ganesh Naik is to join the BJP along with 55 plus corporators out of the total 111 elected corporators in NMMC and several other NCP office bearers and members in the city.

Sandeep Naik, the elected NCP legislator from the Airoli constituency has already resigned from the State Assembly and joined the BJP. This resignation could cause a turmoil in the BJP – Shiv Sena alliance in this constituency as the SS has consolidated it’s strength in Airoli and were all set to wrest this seat from the NCP legislator Sandeep Naik.

Now with Sandeep joining the BJP, he will again claim the seat as a sitting (resigned) legislator, to the dismay of the aspiring Shiv Sainiks.

Several NCP heavy weights like Shivram Patil, Anita Patil, M. K. Madhavi, Vinaya Madhavi and Narendra Patil resigned from NCP after the last State Assembly polls and joined the SS, that grew in strength in the city. The SS also has Shubhangi Gavte, Jagdish Gavte, Vijay Chougule, Bahadur Bist, Sanju Kamble, Sanju Wade, Nandu Kate, Ashok Mhadvi, Karan Madhavi, Chetan Naik, Mamit Chougule, Dwarakanth Bhoir, Prashant Patil, Kamaltai Patil, Deepali Sankpal, Suvarna Patil, Meghali Raut, Damayanti Achre, Ramdas Pawle and Nirmala Kachre, all sitting corporators, adding to it’s might in Airoli.

With the constituency so well secured, will the SS allow the BJP to snatch it for the benefit of an NCP deserter?

Undoubtedly politics call for strange alliances and sacrifices and in this case, it is also about lending a new lease of life to a demolished opponent for a larger gain of wresting a whole corporation from the opponent.

The saga could be replicated in the Belapur constituency of the city too.

With Vijay Nahata, deputy leader of the SS, aggresively campaigning in the constituency since the last 5 years, in spite of the sitting legislator, Manda Mhatre, being from the BJP, an alliance partner.

If she is given the candidature as a sitting legislator, who trounced NCP giant Ganesh Naik and SS giant Vijay Nahata in the civic elections in 2015, she is certain to romp home to victory with the Ganesh Naik faction’s huge added strength. Thus neutralizing the aggressive campaigning by the SS.

The BJP could thus marginalize the growing mandate of the SS in the city and that too with the support of the alliance partner, the SS.

If Ganesh Naik seeks candidature, then a scorned sitting legislator could spell trouble and rebellion in the BJP, though it may have little impact on the outcome if the BJP-SS alliance is intact.

In the event of this alliance breaking up, the BJP could be fishing in troubled waters in both the constituencies, if the Naiks are given both the seats.

The possibility of rebellion even if the alliance holds cannot be ruled out. But the BJP alone will stand to gain and this could spill over to the NMMC general elections in April 2020.

The Congress and the beleaguered NCP will have to counter the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi and could have a little impact if the BJP-SS alliance breaks up. Otherwise they appear to be a spent force in the city.