Naiks retain Navi Mumbai

Mumbai :  With the National Congress Party (NCP) emerging as the largest single party for the fourth consecutive term in Navi Mumbai, party leader Ganesh Naik said that he would appeal everybody to join hands in developing the city further in next five years.

“People have elected 53 of our corporators. Amongst the five independents who managed to win, four have had been supported by us. Hence, our tally is 57,” Naik told reporters on Thursday.

Magic figure for simple majority in the 111-member corporation is 56.

“We shall also appeal our old ally to join us in ruling the corporation,” Naik added, indicating that he won’t be averse to join hands with Congress, though the parties failed in striking an alliance before the corporation elections.

Congress was able to bag 10 seats despite a very poor organisation.

“Four independent candidates have won whom we had supported. We will also appeal the Congress to join us. In addition, there are a few others who are in touch with us. We shall take their help also if needed and ensure we have a comfortable majority in the corporation,” Naik said.

The Naik family has ruled the corporation almost single handed for over 15 years and this type of dynastic rule in the corporation was one of the major issues raised by the opponents during the election.

Naik also said that he would seek everybody’s cooperation and involvement in development of the city. “We will take everybody along with us in developing the city further in next five years,” he said.

The Shiv Sena could ensure victory on 37 seats, while the BJP could bag only six seats.

Since the counting began at 10 am, the NCP and the BJP-Shiv Sena combine were going neck to neck. First few results were in favour of BJP and the party workers were jubilant. But, as the counting proceeded both the prime contenders were seen moving neck to neck. The condition prevailed until around 3.30 pm when the NCP took the decisive lead.

Naik, who has dominated NMMC’s affairs ever since its inception in 1992, faced a tough challenge from the Sena-BJP alliance, which was looking at replicating its Lok Sabha and assembly success even at the civic body-level.

“The results have proved that the people of the city did not accept the BJP-Sena’s theories about the dynastic rule and the people have voted for development,” Sanjeev Naik, Ganesh Naik’s son, first mayor of the city and former MP told reporters.

The rebellion by 41 Sena candidates, who contested the election on a front floated as the Navi Mumbai Vikas Agahdi, and bickering within the BJP has impacted the prospects of the saffron candidates, it appears.

Meanwhile, Sunil Tatkare, the state unit chief of NCP, said that the results in Navi Mumbai are encouraging. “The results would certainly raise party workers’ confidence across the state,” he said at a press conference. “The BJP-Sena combine had gained 90,000 votes more during the assembly polls a few months back. The party has overcome that deficit in the corporation elections,” he said.

Victory in NMMC polls significant: Sunil Tatkare

Mumbai :  The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Thursday said its victory in the Navi Mumbai civic polls was significant as it managed to overcome the 90,000-vote deficit of the last year’s Assembly polls.

“In October, party leader Ganesh Naik was defeated and the Shiv Sena and BJP, who contested separately, had managed to poll 90,000 votes. In six months, we (NCP) have managed to turn the tide despite the saffron alliance in power,” NCP state president Sunil Tatkare said.

In the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) polls, out of the total 111 seats, NCP bagged 53 and is likely to retain power unless Congress and others back Sena-BJP alliance which secured 43 seats.

NCP has secured 53, Sena 37, BJP 6 and others 5 seats in the Navi Mumbai polls. The state NCP chief said that the Shiv Sena-BJP combine was in power for 25 years in the Aurangabad Municipal Corporations.

Tatkare said, “The rise of MIM with more than 20 seats and the manner in which the poll campaign was conducted gives room to doubt that both parties were hand in gloves to polarise the voters.”

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