The twin-cities of Mira-Bhayandar are all set for the crucial Mira Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) polls on August 20. Even the main political parties, the BJP and Shiv Sena have geared up for flip-flops and rebellion with the last day for filing nominations set for 2nd August.
While many independents and aspirants made a beeline to file their nominations, none of the parties declared their final list of official candidates till Tuesday, except for the Maharashtra Nav-Nirman Sena (MNS) which released a partial list of 25 candidates. Elections for the 95 member (24 panel) civic body are scheduled to be held on August, 20. Both the Shiv Sena and the BJP kept the names a closely-guarded secret and even mid-level party workers were not privy to the final names.
Alliance partners turned bitter rivals, the Shiv Sena and BJP are facing internal rebellion among their ranks over the distribution of election tickets. Several sitting corporators from the BJP who were denied tickets, along with those who anticipated last minute denial, are turning to rival parties (especially Shiv Sena), which have also been entertaining them.
Corporators from both parties – the BJP and Shiv Sena who may be denied a ticket for the MBMC polls have no hesitation in jumping the fence and switching sides.
A senior BJP functionary admitted that this is the first time they are forced to keep names of candidates under wraps till the last minute. “However, we follow a transparent selection process that takes time. Moreover Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis himself is overseeing the entire process.” he said.
Even in the Shiv Sena, senior local leaders were in the dark about the final list of candidates. While both parties have started their outdoor (hoarding) campaign, local campaigns of individual corporator-candidates are still in go-slow mode, as the final lists of candidates is not yet out.
The saffron party’s decision to contest on their individual strength has made the electoral battle critical this time. The move also gives corporators the option to switch sides.
So far, the BJP has taken the lead in poaching sitting corporators from different parties including Congress and NCP, while Sena stands second in incorporating other party corporators into its fold.
Consequently, the BJP has registered the highest number of poll aspirants, making it vulnerable to large scale rebellion and defection to rival parties.