New Delhi

A lot of political prestige of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Navi Mumbai strongman Ganesh Naik and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) is at stake on April 22, the day when civic polls for Navi Mumbai and Aurangabad municipal corporations will be held. Election campaigning for the two big municipal corporation's came to an end yesterday. Interestingly enough according to a report released yesterday by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) nearly 201 candidates out of the 537 candidates in the poll fray for Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) are “Crorepatis”. More than that, 40 candidates in the fray in Navi Mumbai polls have serious criminal cases registered against them.

As per the ADR report in Navi Mumbai the party wise breakup of 201 crorepatis is as follows: NCP 59, Shiv Sena 38, Congress 27, BJP 24, PWP-I 4, RPI-A 1 and Independents 48.  In respect of 41 candidates with serious criminal cases registered against them the party wise breakup is as follows: NCP 17, Congress 7, Sena 11 and BJP 5.

The NCP and its strongman Ganesh Naik has held complete sway over the NMMC for more than a decade or so. However, in the October 2014 Assembly elections and May 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Naik clan suffered heavy electoral reverses raising question marks over his leadership. He is now facing a challenge from his one time party colleague and now BJP MLA Manda Mhatre. However, there have been reports of considerable unrest in the BJP, NCP and Sena camps over ticket distribution. In the outgoing civic body the party wise breakup was as follows: NCP 55, Sena 16, Congress 13, Independents 4 and BJP 1. The current revised strength of the NMMC is 111 seats.

The MIM too faces a acid test in the 113 member Aurangabad municipal corporation where it is hoping to make its presence felt after gaining considerable support base amongst the minority community. However, the recent poor performance in the Bandra east assembly by-election has somewhat dented its chances. The scales appear to have once again tilted in favor of Sena which has been in power in the civic body for more than two decades. Sources disclosed that there has been considerable resentment in the MIM camp over ticket distribution. In the out going civic body the party wise breakup is as follows: Sena 30, Congress 18, Independents 17, BJP 15, NCP 12, Others 7 and MNS 1. Counting of votes for both the civic bodies will be taken up on April 23.

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