Conduct primaries for BMC poll: Sanjay Nirupam

Others in party not happy with the US-type model, says it may allow people with money and muscle power to win

The Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) President Sanjay Nirupam's proposal to conduct primaries (see box) to select the party's candidates for next year's Mumbai civic polls is facing a roadblock.

Sanjay Nirupam
Sanjay Nirupam

The voice of dissent are the party's former MP Milind Deoras, as well as sitting MLAs Arief Naseem Khan and Amin Patel.

But Nirupam is hopeful. “The proposal, if passed, will be a revolutionary experiment and will go a long way in political circles. Other parties may also adopt the Congress formula, if proven successful,” he added.

The proposal has been sent to Congress' local former MPs and sitting MLAs for their consent and suggestions to be submitted to the party chiefs, including Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who is the brainchild behind the idea, by May 30.

Deora pointed out that Congress' earlier experiment (conducted for 15 Lok Sabha seats in 2014) did not yield desirable results. “This may allow people with money and muscle power to win primaries. The workers with merit, credibility, popular image and ability to work on the ground may not necessarily get the tickets,” he said.

Nirupam said that some concerns expressed by the leaders were genuine, but there will be a full-proof system in place.

Primaries model
In this, aspirants have to contest the polls, in which registered party workers will vote. This is supervised by former election commissioners. The entire process is outsourced to an independent agency. Later, the final candidate will be chosen from the two top grossers in the fray.

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