Congress reiterates resolve to go solo in next year’s BMC polls

The Congress party, which is a junior partner in the Shiv Sena-led Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in the state, has reiterated its resolve to go alone in the elections to the 227 wards of the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) slated for 2022.

The newly appointed president of the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) Bhai Jagtap on Wednesday said, “Congress will contest the upcoming BMC elections independently. We have decided that the party will go solo.”

Jagtap, who took over his post recently, said the party has launched preparations to win the BMC elections and elect the party's mayor. “The Congress party has devised a 100-day strategy for each ward. There will be Janata Durbar in every ward. In the next 100 days, the Congress will go to every ward and organise Janata Darbar there. The party will try to solve the problems of the citizens,” revealed Jagtap.

Further, Jagtap said the party will try to provide free water to the slum dwellers in Mumbai. Although this will put an additional burden of Rs 168 crore on the BMC’s coffers, it is necessary to provide free water to these residents, he noted.

Jagtap claimed that the water mafias have a free run in the city and because of that the poor do not get drinking water. He targeted the former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on his assurance to regularise the slums and questioned what happened to his promise.

“In the BMC, the Congress party is in the role of Opposition but in the state it is sharing power with the Maha Vikas Aghadi partners. The state government is functioning on the Common Minimum Programme sealed by the MVA partners. Therefore, there is no link between Maha Vikas Aghadi and BMC elections,’’ Jagtap clarified.

Jagtap’s fresh announcement to go solo in the BMC polls comes at a when the BJP has launched Mission Mumbai 2022 while the Shiv Sena and NCP also started preparations for the BMC elections. There has been no formal announcement from Congress party’s partners — NCP and Shiv Sena — whether they will go independently or fight the BMC elections together as they are running the coalition government in the state.

NCP Chief spokesman and Minister of Minority Affair Nawab Malik had recently said that there was a thinking among the MVA partners to jointly contest the BMC polls to keep the BJP at bay. However, no formal decision has been taken yet.

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