Nagpur, Oct 6 (UNI) By-elections will be held to ten wards of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) tomorrow to fill up vacancies caused by disqualification of nine members and death of another.
The by-polls have assumed significance because the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiv Sena will face off in two of the ten wards, in spite of the fact that the two constituents of the saffron alliance have decided to stay together at the state and the national levels, were together in the civic elections here in February last and shared power in the civic body.
While the BJP describes the fights as 'friendly,' the Shiv Sena has blamed the BJP for 'breaking the alliance.' The BJP has fielded candidates in eight of the ten wards were the by-polls are being held. The Shiv Sena has put up a total of three candidates, including two in wards where the BJP is also contesting. Neither party has fielded a candidate from the remaining one ward.
Incidentally, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have entered into an alliance for the by-election, the first time that the two parties have come together for a civic poll in the city. The Congress is contesting 6 seats and the NCP 4. They had fought separately in the civic polls in Nagpur held in 2002 and in February 2007.
The by-election is being held due to the disqualification of five councillors from the BJP, including the then mayor Devrao Umredkar, three from the Shiv Sena and one from the Congress, and the death of another Congress councillor. The strength of the 136-member NMC general body has, thus, been reduced to 126. The present party-wise strength is - BJP 50, Shiv Sena 5, Congress 31, NCP 8, BSP 5, RJD 3, MNS 2, Independents 11 and others 11.
While the voting is being held tomorrow, the counting will take place on October 8, with the results being declared the same day.