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NCP snubs Congress, Goes solo

The party plans to contest at least 200 seats in the BMC election and said that there will be no change in the list of 45 names announced.

After releasing the first list of 45 candidates for contesting the 227 member Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation the  Sharad Pawar led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) said that is planning to go solo in the civic body election. The party has taken this decision as it has not received any formal communication from Congress for having a pre-poll alliance in the BMC election. NCP is also keen to cash in on the demonetisation drive announced by the Modi government which has caused huge hardships to the common man. It had severed ties with Congress ahead of the 2014 state assembly polls and had to face massive defeat. After that it had offered outside support to the BJP government which had initially run short of numbers required to form the government.

Mumbai NCP chief Sachin Ahir said the NCP may not have an alliance with Congress for the BMC election. He said, “As of now, there will be no alliance and  Congress will go alone in the civic polls. If there is a strong candidate who wishes to contest on our party ticket elsewhere we will consider.”

He said the party plans to contest at least 200 seats adding there will be no change in the list of 45 names announced.

Ahir also took a jibe at MRCC President Sanjay Nirupam who had said that Congress won’t have an alliance with NCP. He said, “We are strengthening our party at the grassroots level and people are connecting with us. NCP’s strength will be known to Nirupam in the next Lok Sabha polls.”

Ahir said that PWP leader Jayant Patil was keen to work out an alliance of secular parties in  Mumbai to defeat the Sena-BJP combine.

NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said, “Our party had announced its list of candidates first as Congress is yet to give a proposal for an alliance. The list of the 45 candidates announced by us is final and there won’t be any changes in that.”

Out of the 45, six are sitting corporators. At present, NCP has 14 corporators in the civic house.

When asked about the FIR against Raosaheb Danve, Malik said the ruling party misused power and money in the municipal council polls and plans to do the same for corporation polls.

The dates for the BMC polls are likely to be announced in January 2017.

NCP also is planning to hold a state wide protest against demonetisation on January 9 to woo voters and consolidate its position ahead of the civic body polls.

Sunil Tatkare, Chief of NCP’s state unit criticised the Modi government’s notes ban campaign and said, “The 50 days’ time, sought by the Centre to ease the situation after demonetisation, is over but people continue to suffer. The impact has been all over with no immediate signs of the situation improving in the near future. So, we have decided to take up the issue through an agitation on January 9. The agitation would be held at taluka level across the state.”

When asked about whether NCP would go for an alliance with Congress he replied, “We will only have a tie-up with secular parties but final decision in this regard will be taken after having an interaction with local leaders.”

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