Eighteen Congress corporators in the Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Corporation on Wednesday quit the party and joined NCP in the presence of DCM Ajit Pawar and state unit chief Jayant Patil. This may change equations in the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government as Congress is expected to take up the matter with NCP boss Sharad Pawar expressing its serious displeasure.
NCP hopes to increase its presence in Bhiwandi Nizampur Municipal Corporation limits ahead of assembly and civic body elections with new entrants in the party fold.
Congress has been a divided house in the power loom town as rift surfaced during the Mayoral poll. Against this backdrop, 18 corporators took the decision to call it a day and start a new inning by joining NCP. These corporators had allegedly voted against the party line and helped the BJP-supported candidate in winning the Mayor elections.
The Konark Vikas Aghadi (KVA)-BJP nominee Pratibha Vilas Patil was elected as the mayor. Moreover, the deputy-mayor post also went to the KVA-BJP alliance. Subsequently, the state Congress unit had served notice to all 18 corporators.
None of the senior Congress leaders had reacted to the development. However, Mumbai Regional Congress Committee’s former president Sanjay Nirupam said, "Eighteen Congress corporators have joined NCP. Silence on the part of Congress. Congratulations to the Congress leaders who are sharing power with NCP in the state. Perhaps for this day, we have joined hands.’’ He taunted that it seems Congress party will continue to tolerate poaching to stay in power.