Nashik set for a humdinger of a mayoral contest today

first_imgThe acrimony between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena is set to cast its shadow on the Nashik mayoral election to be held on Friday.In what is touted to be a humdinger of a contest, the Sena, in league with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and other parties, is trying hard to queer the BJP’s pitch.While the BJP has a clear majority of 65 corporators in the 122-seat Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC), it faces a major split in the civic body owing to the machinations of Balasaheb Sanap, former BJP MLA and rebel who dramatically switched to the Sena last month.Mr. Sanap, the former Nashik city unit chief of the BJP, wields considerable clout in the NMC and was the BJP’s first mayor in the NMC as well.The Sena and Mr. Sanap — their Trojan horse — along with the NCP are combining forces to keep the BJP away from power. The Sena has 34 corporators in the NMC, while the Congress and the NCP have six each and the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has five.The Nashik drama has been a microcosmic replay of the power struggle going in the State. Earlier this week, the BJP moved all its corporators at a safe remove from Nashik to a resort in Sindhudurg district, the bastion of BJP leader Narayan Rane. However, in a major setback to the BJP, 12 of its corporators, most of whom are said to be close to Mr. Sanap, have not gone to the resort and are reportedly incommunicado.As many as 11 candidates have filed their nomination for the mayoral post, of which six are from the BJP, four from the Sena and one from the Congress. Of them, Kamlesh Bodke, a rebel BJP corporator said to be a protégé of Mr. Sanap, has filed his nomination for both the mayor and the deputy mayor’s post in defiance of the party top brass’ orders.last_img

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