'If Sonia can do it, why not my wife?'
After BMC mandated 50% reservation for women, corporators losing their seats are fielding their wives from their constituency; one of them cites Congress chief Sonia Gandhi as the one who started the trend
Inherited seats are quite the norm in our democracy, running right down from the ruling party's chief, as some officials are quick to point.
So when the BMC decided on 50 per cent reservation for women, you probably guessed that men who lose their seats would make the wife contest. And right you are.
Arvind Bane and wife Ujjwala can be seen on one of the many Ganeshotsav hoardings the corporator has put up. (Below) Alka Doke, wife of corporator Hemant Doke, can be seen on one pillar of a welcoming portal in Dadar. Pics/Datta Kumbhar, Bipin Kokate
Most of the 227 corporators in the city who are losing their seats have already announced that they are fielding their wives from the seats.
Into the bargain, even ex-corporators and politicians are vying for their better halves to get a foot in. And they couldn't have chosen a more befitting time, or reason.
During the ongoing festivities, every corporator who wishes his wife to get the party ticket, has put up giant hoardings across the city, with both their names and faces on it, declaring the wife's candidature while extending greetings to the electorate on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi.
And just in case the voters in the ward do not remember that the women contesting the seat are corporators' wives, the latter's names carry their names, standing out in bold.
After losing his seat, BJP corporator from Tardeo, Arvind Bane, decided on behalf of the voters that his wife, Ujjwala, is the best candidate to carry his mantle.
Convinced that the seat belongs to him and only someone who is known to him should get the ticket, he said, "I think my wife should get the seat; there's no other candidate in my constituency.
I have decided that she would make a suitable candidate to contest from my ward. She is educated and works as a bank manager."
He added, "And when Sonia Gandhi, who had no political knowledge, is acceptable, then why not my wife, who has earlier worked with the RSS."
Similarly, the saffron party's Parag Alvani has erected hoardings in Vile Parle, featuring the spouse and self. Sashikant Patkar, a Shiv Sena corporator, has his wife Subhada's photos on his hoardings. Ditto for the party's corporators Shailesh Parab and Hemant Doke.
Doke from Wadala, who lost his seat to an OBC woman, has pasted the whole region with his and his wife's pictures. "I have been a corporator from the area for three terms.
So I am trying for my wife to get the seat. My work will speak for the candidature of my wife," Doke said.
At the same time, though, he claims he is ready to let go of the seat, on his better half's behalf, if the party high command asks him to.
Inputs by Datta Kumbhar and Bipin Kokate