However, other political outfits have been crying foul, claiming that as Congress is an ally of ruling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in PMC at several other levels, it would be tough for the former to perform the role of a strong opposition. On the other hand, analysts claim that Congress and NCP have, in conjunction, managed to keep the positions of ruling and opposition parties to themselves, pushing out others.
“To stem the increasing popularity of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in the city, NCP and Congress both planned this political game, where it was probably decided to field candidates against each other, but shift NCP’s vote base to Congress so the latter would be the main opposition party” said political scholar Dr Prakash Pawar.
Ghodake, who beat MNS candidate Indumati Phulavare by 400 votes this time, lost the election from the same ward last year to MNS’s Kalpana Bahirat, who was later disqualified for allegedly providing a fake caste document due to which the seat in the ward fell vacant.
“We have accepted defeat and will try to increase our support base. However, it should be noted that NCP is trying to completely control the decision-making process in the civic house by giving its ally the largest opposition space,” said BJP city chief Anil Shirole.
Concurring this, MNS city chief Bala Shedge claimed that NCP fielding a candidate in the poll was mere eyewash. Otherwise, there’s no reason why the party that won 51 seats in the civic election in 2012, should not be able to win ward number 40.
“Now ruling and opposition positions would be in the hands of Congress and NCP,” said Shedge.