Despite knowing that their claims hold no water, the District wing of the Navi Mumbai Congress called for a press conference demanding that the NCP give both the Belapur and Airoli seats to the Congress in the upcoming assembly elections. The demand was pretty amusing considering that no Congress leader has the might to match the Ganesh Naik – led NCP in the region. The Navi Mumbai Congress is demanding for not just one but both the constituencies falling in the Navi Mumbai jurisdiction. The Navi Mumbai Congress Chief Namdeo Bhagat publicly made the demand in a press conference stating that the NCP should leave the Belapur and Airoli seats for the Congress. Despite prominent corporators Avinash Lad and Eknath Tandel and even newly appointed Congress women wing’s office bearers remaining absent from the conference, Namdeo Bhagat claimed that there were no factions in the Navi Mumbai Congress. The Congress called for this press conference to publicly demand for both the Airoli and Belapur assembly constituencies despite the fact that no Congress leader in Navi Mumbai can match the might of Ganesh Naik – led NCP in the region. In fact, all the Congress corporators that are daring to challenge the NCP have also risen in their political stature with Ganesh Naik’s blessings and support at some point in time. But the Congress’s demand isn’t surprising because politics is known for people changing colors like a chameleon. A fortnight ago, Ramakant Mhatre and Dashrath Bhagat had locked horns with Namdeo Bhagat over CIDCO’s demolition drive speaking against Namdeo Bhagat. The division of the Congress party in Navi Mumbai also came wide open during Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s meet with Congress party workers in Navi Mumbai last month. And even though the Congress Navi Mumbai is now making such absurd demands, the Congress high commands know that as far as Navi Mumbai constituencies are concerned the NCP is way stronger. This reflected in the Chief Minister’s confession to the media during his last visit that the Congress will fight only the seats they know they’d win. In fact the Chief Minister also dodged the question of whether the Congress would stake claim for Belapur constituency. When Sr. Congress leaders of the party speak like this, the press conference taken by the Navi Mumbai Congress looks like a staged drama with the sole intention of pressurizing or even black mailing Ganesh Naik for getting a bigger pie in NMMC contracts or ensuring better bargaining powers for the next municipal elections. With Anil More, Zeba Warsia for NMTV News.
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