Mumbai: At a time when established leaders are quitting the Congress, the Mumbai unit of the party has received an overwhelming response from Assembly ticket aspirants.
According to a senior Congress leader, the party has received nearly 360 applications for the 36 seats in the city. Sources said that Ashok Jadhav, Baldev Khosa, Madhu Chavan are among the former MLAs who have sought tickets for the upcoming polls.
“Former ministers Kripashankar Singh and Baba Siddique have also sought tickets for their sons. The MRCC has formed a four-member election committee to decide the candidatures for 32 out of 36 seats in Mumbai and the suburbs,” the senior party leader said.
The Congress leader said that Mr Singh wants his son Narendra Mohan Singh to be given a ticket either from Kalina or Kherwadi. On the other hand, Mr Siddique seeks a ticket from Bandra (East) for his son, Zeeshan.
Three-time corporator from Bhandup, Suresh Harishchandra Koparkar, has also sought ticket from Bhandup. Ashatai Koparkar, his wife, is also a two-time corporator.
The party has already cleared tickets to all four sittings MLAs — Arif Nasim Khan, Aslam Shaikh, Varsha Gaikwad and Amin Patel — excluding Kalidas Kolambkar, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in July.
“Last week, state Congress parliamentary board had held a meeting at Tilak Bhavan in Mumbai, where the board cleared tickets for four MLAs. The board had also formed a committee comprising Harshvardhan Patil, Manikrao Thakre, Milind Deora and Sanjay Nirupam to finalise the candidates for remaining seats of Mumbai,” the senior Congress leader said.
He also added that the committee would short-list two to three candidates before sending their names to the central screening committee at state level, which would later send the names to the central election committee in New Delhi.
Since its humiliating defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha election as well as the October 2014 Maharashtra Assembly polls, many established leaders like Rajhans Singh, Thakur Ramesh Singh and Krishna Hegde had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party.