The Congress party has assigned 40 leaders as star campaigner for the ongoing municipal council poll.
Mumbai: Congress’ state chief Ashok Chavan is the leader most in demand for the ongoing municipal council poll, followed by former minister Chandrakant Handore and then Naseem Khan. Mr Chavan addressed almost 26 campaign rallies during the first phase whereas former chief minister Narayan Rane addressed approximately 10 rallies, out of which 6 were in Konkan region. One section within the party is disappointed with Mr Rane’s critics against the party leadership for the loss in the Council poll and claimed the party high command is disappointed with Mr Rane’s stand. Meanwhile, Mr Rane did not respond to it. Mr Rane had blamed the senior leadership in the party in the state, claiming that they didn’t step out for campaign, because of which the Congress didn’t fare well. This hadn’t gone down well with the leaders in the party.
The Congress party has assigned 40 leaders as star campaigner for the ongoing municipal council poll. The poll for 164-municipal council has been already held on 27 November. The second phase poll will be held on December 14 for 324 seats of councillor and 14 president to chose directly. The third phase will be held on December 18 and the last and the fourth phase poll will be held on January 8.
The star campaigners of the party are former chief minister and MPCC president Ashok Chavan, Narayan Rane and Prithviraj Chavan. Other campaigners are Naseem Khan, deputy speaker of the council Manikrao Thakare, Chandrakant Handore, Varsha Gaikwad, Praniti Shinde, Nitin Raut, Harshawardhan Patil, Husain Dalwai, Bhai Jagtap and many others.
According to Ramkishan Ojha, general secretary, MPCC, Ashok Chavan is the most demanding leader for the campaign. He took 26 rallies followed by Chandrakant Handore, prominent Dalit leader addressed 22 rallies whereas Naseem Khan took 20 rallies. “The data of Prithviraj Chavan’s rallies are not yet updated with the MPCC office while another former chief minister Narayan Rane took around 10 campaign rallies in which 6 are in his Konkan region where he had addressed almost 6 rallies,” said Mr Oza, son of former MPCC vice president Prabha Ojha.
Congress won 727 seats of councillors out of total 3727 seats and gain second number after BJP. Mr Ojha said, the result is according to party expectations but we could perform better.” Ganesh Patil, another general secretary of the party told party has hired helicopters for the convenience of the leaders to reach at the spot of campaign rally. When asked about what was the amount of charge paid to the helicopter provider company, Mr Patil said, the bill is yet to finalise as the chopper is will be used for next three phase elections.
Another MPCC leader on condition of anonymity claimed that Mr Rane denied to attend 15 rallies outside Konkan despite he had demand. But both Mr Ojha and Patil denied the claim.
Mr Ojha said that Amit Deshmukh and Narayan Rane had hired private chopper apart from party provided. Mr Rane could not attend few rallies due to breakdown in chopper, he added.
Mr Rane had blamed Ashok Chavan for not taking election seriously. He had said that state leader were not aggressive and did not took stand over Maratha reservation issue. The same MPCC leader said, in fact he (Mr Rane) focused only in Konkan and still did not win even a single municipal council. Mr Rane was not available for the comment.