Congress should go alone for Mumbai civic polls: MRCC President
The Congress should contest alone in the 2022 BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) polls, according to the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee (MRCC) president Bhai Jagtap.
'I am of the opinion that we should go alone...the party leaders and workers share the same opinion...and this is what we have been impressing upon the Congress high command,' newly-appointed MRCC president Jagtap said during an informal chat.
The BMC is one of the largest and richest civic bodies of India and has 227 seats. Also called the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the civic body has a budget and reserves bigger than some of the smaller states. For nearly 25 years, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena has controlled the BMC.
Shiv Sena, the Sharad Pawar-led NCP and Congress are partners in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra that has kept the BJP out of power in the state.
'In 2017, we won only 31 seats while in 33 seats our losing margin was just 500 to 1000 votes,' said Jagtap, a three-time legislator, who comes with a trade union background.
'Mumbai is the birthplace of Congress and we must go alone....this does not have any bearing in the MVA government...the MVA is a result of a comprehensive common minimum programme (CMP)...we all know how it was formed,' he said, adding that when the Congress and NCP together ran the Democratic Front government, the two parties have separately contested the local bodies elections.
Going into the finer details, he said that the Congress is part of the opposition in BMC while Shiv Sena is the larger party and has the Mayoral post.
'I am trying to convince the party....the party workers at ground level have a lot of enthusiasm....my first priority and duty is to take care of that,' he said. 'What is more important is that we have the capability to fight all these seats alone, single-handedly,' he said.
The MRCC has also launched 'Mazhi Mumbai, Mazhi Congress', during which he is visiting every corner of India's financial capital.
In fact, Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) president and state revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat and Maharashtra Legislative Assembly speaker Nana Patole, have stressed on the need to go alone.
Besides, there has been no formal announcement from Congress partners in the government, the NCP and Shiv Sena, whether they will fight the BMC elections independently or together.