Parties yet to announce nominees for lone Nagpur Council seat

Nagpur: There is still no clear picture on nomination of candidates for the Maharashtra Legislative Council polls from local bodies constituency of Nagpur district although last date of filing papers is December 9.

Also, the voters list for the election to this lone Council seat from Nagpur district is yet to be finalised leaving aspiring candidates flummoxed as they have no clue about the final electorate which will seal their fate.

Polling for elections to the eight seats of the Legislative Council from the self-government bodies in Maharashtra would be held on December 27.

The biennial poll is for the local self-government bodies constituency in which essentially elected members of local
bodies comprising Nagpur Municipal Corporation, Zilla Parishad, Municipal Councils are empowered to choose a legislator.

In the last election for the seat, held six years ago, the number of voters were 422. But this time it is proposed that newly elected Nagar Panchayat members too (village council) may be included. With this, the number would up to 581, official sources said.

There are five such newly created Nagar Panchayats each with 17 elected members. So, 85 new voters straightaway get added to the voter list.

Another addition is that of 29 co-opted members of these local self-government bodies and 13 'Sabhapatis' of Gram Panchayats besides new additions in municipal councils like Saoner, Katol, Umred, Narkher, Kamptee, Kanhan among others.

With the recent success in Nagar Panchayats in a number of places, the Congress-NCP combine has an upper hand as compared to the BJP-Shiv Sena.

Meanwhile, some objections have been raised against the inclusion of Nagar Panchayat members and a final decision on it will be taken by the Returning Officer in a couple of days, sources close to the RO said.

Sitting Legislative Council member Rajendra Mulak (Nagpur), whose term ends next month is the front runner for the Congress candidature from this seat.

In 2009, Mulak won by a slim margin of four votes against BJP's Ashok Mankar. He later became the MoS for Finance in the Prithiviraj Chavan government.

The BJP candidate will be decided by Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis and Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Both the leaders had a late night meeting recently and are understood to have finalised on the candidate but it has been kept under wraps, party sources said.

City Mayor Pravin Datke along with Ashok Mankar, Ramesh Mankar and Girish Vyas are keen contenders for the BJP candidature, sources added.

The term of following Legislative Council members ends on January 1, 2016 - Amrish Patel (Dhule-Nandurbar), Mahadev Mahadik (Kolhapur), Rajendra Mulak (Nagpur) and Bhai Jagtap (Mumbai) - all from the Congress.

Two Shiv Sena members - state Environment Minister Ramdas Kadam (Mumbai) and Gopikishan Bajoria (Akola Washim Buldhana) - will also retire on the same day.

NCP's Deepak Salunke (Solapur) and NCP backed Independent Arun Jagtap (Ahmednagar) also retires on January 1. The last date for filing nominations is December 9.

Scrutiny will take place on December 10 and last date of withdrawal is December 12. The counting of votes will be taken
up on December 30.

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