Sources from Navi Mumbai Congress say that the alliance was a move of the local unit that seems to have backfired. There are reports that NCP is demanding suspension of the Congress corporators who rebelled against State Minister Ganesh Naik in the assembly polls and this has forced Congress to take a U Turn. They criticized State Minister Ganesh Naik to no length and used this as their justification to rebel against their own party the Congress and NCP for giving candidature to NCP candidates from Navi Mumbai. All Congress corporators of Navi Mumbai rebelled under the leadership of Navi Mumbai Congress District Chief Namdeo Bhagat to form the Navi Mumbai Vikas Agadhi. Now the decision to rebel against the decision of their party high commands is costing the Congress corporators of Navi Mumbai dear. The Navi Mumbai Congress in fact, has not blundered once but twice. The second time this month – sources allege that it was the Congress corporators of Navi Mumbai who were fearing stiff competition from NCP in the municipal elections and fearing that they might even lose the battle, they initially consented with the idea of alliance with the NCP that would secure their present wards. However it turned out to be another shot from the Congress that misfired because reportedly, soon after the NCP leaders and party workers of Navi Mumbai started demanding that the Congress Navi Mumbai District Chief Namdeo Bhagat and other Congress corporators who rebelled in the assembly elections should be suspended from the party first and then the talks of alliance should be taken forward. NCP Dy. Mayor Shashikant Birajdar, refrained from taking any names but said that in an ethical alliance, anyone rebelling should face suspension. On an alliance with Congress he said that the decision of the party high command would be the ultimate. The Congress corporators however know that there are in trouble and that’s why they seem to have taken a U Turn stating that they do not want an alliance. Santosh Shetty says that the Congress did not want an alliance with the NCP for the municipal elections as they would not concede to just 22 seats. He stated that the NCP had no right to demand their suspension. Santosh Shetty also retaliated on the reports of NCP’s demands of suspending rebelling Congress corporators. However Congress NMMC strongman Ramakant Mhatre feigned ignorance of an alliance and said that they have received no intimation from the party yet. On the subject of suspension, he said that NCP had no right to demand this as their own corporator Ramesh Shinde had rebelled to contest the elections and the NCP has yet not suspended him from the party. He added that they would take the opinion of the party workers on the alliance and forward it to the party high commands to take a final call on the alliance. When we tried to contact Navi Mumbai District Congress Chief Namdeo Bhagat, who is the center of all controversies that has brought Congress corporators on the verge of fighting for securing their own wards now, he refused to speak to us. Point to be noted is that Congress leader Haribans Singh, who like Namdeo Bhagat had rebelled to contest Ganesh Naik in the assembly elections of 2004 was suspended for 6 years. It was only recently that Haribans Singh was reinstated in the Congress party after 6 years. Political experts say that if the Congress and NCP have an alliance in the municipal elections, then even Namdeo Bhagat will have to face the same fate as Haribans Singh for rebelling against his party. Under the Navi Mumbai District Congress Chief Namdeo Bhagat, all so-called intelligent moves of the Navi Mumbai Congress to rebel has turned out to be foolish decisions. Forget working on the increasing strength of the party in Navi Mumbai and making election strategies, the Congress corporators are now either busy ensuring that they are not suspended or that they do not loose their wards. In such a situation, the condition of the Navi Mumbai Congress on the eve of municipal elections is going from bad to worse by the day. With Monika Bhosale, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
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