Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has vowed to become the number two party in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls to be conducted in 2022. Around 5,500 party members had participated in the NCP convention organized on Sunday, March 1, that witnessed the presence of senior party leaders including NCP Chief Sharad Pawar and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar. Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik has asserted that senior party leaders would conduct such conventions for two years in order to place the party in the second position till 2022.
"Yesterday, we started the Mission 2022 Mahanagar Palika. 5500 party workers had participated in the 'Margadarshan Shivir'. All senior leaders including Sharad Pawar were part of the workshop. Ajit Pawar said we will fight municipal corporation elections in 2022. We want to become the number-two party. Today Shiv Sena is number one and BJP is number two. We will organize ourself and go to public to place ourselves as number two by replacing BJP," said Malik.
On Sunday, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar in a bid to 'motivate' his party workers ahead of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections stated that they needed to work towards 'coming second'. The NCP leader, whose party is in coalition with the Shiv Sena and the Congress under the Maha Vikas Aghadi Government in Maharashtra was all praise for his Sena ally calling it the "number one party in BMC."
"NCP workers should not have misconceptions or misunderstandings about our partners because in the coming days we have to contest elections together," Ajit Pawar said while addressing NCP's convention.
The BJP has also been gearing up for the BMC polls and has already declared its intention to wrest control of the cash-rich local body and elect its own Mayor. In a statement, BJP MLA Ram Kadam stated that his party would now stake claim for the Leader of Opposition post in the BMC. In a veiled threat to the Shiv Sena, he warned that BJP would expose all the corruption scandals in the BMC.
BMC is considered as Asia’s richest civic body with an annual budget of nearly Rs.37,000 crore. Although the Shiv Sena won the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections back in 2017 bagging 84 seats, Sena's arch-nemesis and former saffron ally BJP had exceeded expectations by winning as many as 82 seats. After hectic negotiations, BJP decided not to challenge the Sena on the Mayor’s position. Currently, ruling parties and Aghadi allies, Sena, Congress, and the NCP have 92, 30 and 9 corporators respectively in a house of a total 227 seats.