National

MVA to replicate three-party formula in Aurangabad

Shiv Sena MLC and Aurangabad district chief Ambadas Danve celebrates his election to the Council last year. The AMC poll will be a litmus test for the three parites in the ruling coalition in the State. File

Shiv Sena MLC and Aurangabad district chief Ambadas Danve celebrates his election to the Council last year. The AMC poll will be a litmus test for the three parites in the ruling coalition in the State. File   | Photo Credit: Yogesh Londhe

Polls to municipal corporation due in April; currently Sena has the most corporators

The Maha Vikas Aghadi coalition of the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress is likely to jointly contest the crucial election to the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to be held in April.

Shiv Sena MLC and the party’s Aurangabad district chief Ambadas Danve on Thursday said a preliminary meeting of the top district leaders of the three parties was held in which it was decided that the Sena, the Congress and the NCP would fight the 115-ward AMC poll together under the tentative banner of Sambhajinagar Maha Vikas Aghadi.

The AMC poll will be a litmus test for the three ideologically-opposed parties as it will be the first major election for them since their coming together to form the government in Maharashtra.

“Given that an MVA government is working well at the State level, we [Sena, Congress and the NCP] have decided to contest the AMC polls together. However, there was no discussion on seat-sharing as yet in today’s meeting. It was only a preliminary round of discussions with the Congress and NCP leaders which was held in a spirit of bonhomie, especially as we had been contesting against each other for the past several years,” Mr. Danve said.

The potentially thorny seat-sharing matter would be ironed out in subsequent discussions, he added.

While acknowledging that it would be tough to drop sitting corporators, Mr. Danve said that the candidates of each of the three parties would contest from those wards where their respective parties were the strongest.

“Our focus will be on those wards where neither of the three parties has a dominating presence,” indicated Mr. Danve.

At present, the Sena is the largest party in the 115-seat AMC, with 29 corporators, while the Asaduddin Owaisi-led All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) has 24 corporators, making it the second-largest party and a force to reckon with.

The BJP has 23 seats, while the Congress and the NCP have 11 and four corporators respectively.

The MVA strategy would be to take on the AIMIM in the Muslim-dominated pockets and the BJP in the Hindu-dominated wards, said sources.

The long-pending demand of renaming of Aurangabad to Sambhajinagar is likely to feature as an emotive issue in the contest.

The renaming affair has been a hobby horse of the Shiv Sena, with a proposal regarding the same mooted in the AMC as early as 1995.

Despite Uddhav Thackeray promising the name change in 2015, the Sena has not made any headway on the issue despite Mr. Thackeray now being CM.

This has prompted the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to seize on the Sena’s ‘failure’.

MNS chief Raj Thackeray on Thursday reached Aurangabad to shore up his party’s organisation.

Banners and posters hailing him as a Hindutva nayak (defender of the Hindutva ideal) have mushroomed throughout Aurangabad city, along with strident calls to rename the city.

The Sena, meanwhile, has dismissed the MNS with Mr. Danve saying it was a “negligible force” in the city.

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 8:14:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/mva-to-replicate-three-party-formula-in-aurangabad/article30815073.ece

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