More than 20 corporators to get a shot at MLA post

The end of the Sena-BJP and Cong-NCP alliances has opened up the field further and at least seven corporators are set to contest seats that they couldn’t have otherwise as they were with their alliance partners

While the top state leadership of the Shiv Sena, BJP, Congress and NCP were probably sitting on their sofas with buckets of ice cream yesterday, trying to get over their all-too-fresh break ups, corporators were popping the bubbly.

Ram Barot Ameet Satam Rakhi Jadhav
(From left) Corporators Ram Barot and Ameet Satam from the BJP and Rakhi Jadhav from the NCP will get a chance to contest in the assembly elections because of the split in their respective alliances

The fact that the parties will now go it alone has given many of them an opportunity to climb to the next step in the political ladder and become an MLA.

Nearly two dozen corporators from the big five in the state Sena, BJP, Congress, NCP and MNS are slated to get tickets and at least seven of them would not have got the opportunity had the alliances been intact. One of the prime examples of this is Corporator Ameet Satam.

Andheri (West) was one of the assembly constituencies that was with the Sena and was coveted by the BJP during the seat sharing talks. Seeking to send a message after the end of the alliance, the BJP made Satam file his nomination from the assembly seat yesterday.

“I want my work to talk for me the fact that my party reposed trust in me is a huge thing in itself,” said Satam. BJP loyalist, four-time corporator and former Improvement Committee chairman Ram Barot also turned out to be a beneficiary of the Sena-BJP alliance’s end.

Yesterday, he filed his nominations from the Malad assembly seat, which was with the Sena earlier. “I always wanted to contest the assembly elections and thanks to this opportunity and the trust of my seniors, I have filed my nomination from Malad,” Barot told mid-day.

The BJP’s Manisha Chaudhari is also slated to get the ticket for the Dahisar assembly constituency to contest against the sitting Sena MLA Vinod Ghosalkar, who is expected to get the ticket from the Sena again.

BJP corporators Ujjwala Modak and Mahesh Parkar will also get to contest from Jogeshwari and Bandra (east) respectively. Both these seats were held by the Sena earlier.

The fact that the BJP is giving so many assembly tickets to corporators has set political circles abuzz on whether it lacks other known faces from Mumbai’s assembly seats. From the Congress-NCP camp, two corporators from the latter are set to benefit from the split of the alliance.

Haroon Khan, will be contesting from Ghatkopar (West) and BMC Standing Committee member Rakhi Jadhav will be contesting from Ghatkopar (East). Both of these seats were with the Congress as per the alliance’s seat sharing arrangement.

Tickets aplenty
The Sena seems set to have a shortage of senior leaders in the BMC. While former corporator and Standing Committee chairman Rahul Shewale is now an MP, former mayor Sunil Prabhu and current Standing Committee Chairman Yashodhar Phanse are expected to file nominations to contest the assembly polls from the Dindoshi and Versova constituencies respectively.

The Dahisar assembly seat is also shaping up to be a contest between corporators with Manisha Chadhari from the BJP and Sheetal Mhatre from the Congress. Sources told mid-day that former mayor and current corporator Shubha Raul from the Sena is also expected to contest this seat as an Independent with the Sena reportedly having decided to give the ticket to the sitting MLA Vinod Ghosalkar.

A source close to Raul said, “She has not yet quit the party and until Manisha Chaudhari’s name was declared, she was hoping she could contest from the BJP. She seems to be upset with Sena’s decision of giving Ghosalkar the ticket again and may file her nomination as an Independent candidate.” Among MNS corporators, Dilip Lande, former group leader of the party in the BMC will contest the Ghatkopar West assembly seat.

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