While 50 per cent reservation goes to women, only one third of the overall wards are now in the open general category after OBC draws
Draw after OBC ward reservation for civic polls. Pic/Ashish Raje
After the draws regarding reservation, few places have the maximum reserved wards, with little or no chance for candidates who were hoping to contest in the upcoming civic polls from the open category. In Mulund for instance, out of six wards, where all previous corporators were from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), only one remains in the open category. Out of the overall 236 wards, 79 (one third) remain in the open general category. Similarly, the 50 per cent reservation for women in the election will provide them better opportunities in F north, Sion and Wadala, where 9 out of 10 wards, and in Kandivli 9 out of 14 wards are reserved for them.
In 2012, four out of six wards were for the open category in Mulund and all were won by BJP. This time, out of six, three wards are reserved for women in the open category, one is reserved for OBCs and one is reserved for SC women. Only one ward remains in the open general category. “We have to accept that the process of reservation is rotation wise. Last election, four wards were open, so this time it was obvious that there is hardly any ward in the open general category,” said Prabhakar Shinde, former group leader of BJP in the BMC, and a former corporator from Mulund. Shinde wishes to contest from the only ward in open category in Mulund.
Bandra West consists of six electoral wards, out of which three are reserved for women. One is reserved for OBC and ward nos.102 and 105 are in the open category but corporators cannot always shift to adjacent wards, due to the equation of votes and local aspirants. Similarly in R south, out of 14 wards, 7 are reserved for women in the open category and 2 are reserved for OBC women. Kamlesh Yadav, former BJP corporator from Kandivli said, “This time, in Kandivli, especially in the west side, most of the wards are reserved for women, leaving very few opportunities for male candidates in the open category.”
Yadav is hoping to get a ticket from the party to contest from ward no. 32 which remains open this time. In F north ward, consisting of Wadala and Sion, out of 10 wards 9 are reserved for women and 1 is reserved for OBC category. In 2012 out of 10 wards, four corporators were women. Mangesh Satamkar and Amey Ghole from Shiv Sena, Ravi Raja and Sufiyan Vanu from Congress won't be able to contest from the wards from which they were elected in the last election, as they are now reserved for women.