The Congress’s Mumbai unit discussed their strategy for the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections with All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary and Maharashtra in-charge HK Patil on Friday. Patil is on four-day tour of Mumbai and is meeting key leaders from Maharashtra and Mumbai.
Party Mumbai unit chief Ashok Jagtap and other leaders held a meeting with Patil on Friday evening and discussed election-related plans. “He took review of Mumbai unit’s performance and achievement of the targets set in last three months. AICC has given us programme for the civic polls and review of its implementation is taken every three months. Our Mumbai leaders apprised him of the programmes undertaken since April. We also discussed the plan for BMC elections slated to be held early next year,” said a party leader.
Another leader said Jagtap held three meetings with Patil over the past three days and discussed various issues with him. “We already have announced to go solo in the election and insisted on approval from the party high command. The leader was updated about the reasons behind the decision. He was also updated about the strategy being chalked out for campaign and picking right candidates for the polls,” he said.
Patil met key leaders and state ministers from the state on Thursday. He also had one-on-one meeting with senior party leaders and office-bearers of the frontal organization.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Congress chief Nana Patole reiterated party’s stand and said he complemented the Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) over their plan of joining hands in the forthcoming local bodies and Assembly polls. “We have already announced to go solo in the forthcoming elections and we are firm on it. If the Sena and NCP want to fight them together, we complement them,” he said.
Charan Singh Sapra, working president of Mumbai Congress, said, “We apprised Patil saheb of compliance of the target set by AICC. We also reiterated our stand of going solo in the BMC polls, to which he said the party high command will stand by the sentiments of the leaders in Mumbai. Going solo will help the party in expanding our base in Mumbai by giving fair opportunity to the workers who have been working hard for five years. Secondly, it will also help us in not carrying the baggage of anti-incumbency of the Shiv Sena which is in the power for more than 25 years.”
Patole’s announcement of going independent had invited sharp reaction from its two ruling allies. The NCP had taunted Patole saying there was no harm in dreaming to become chief minister. Sena’s Sanjay Raut had said if the Congress decides to go solo, other two ruling parties will have to come together in the interest of the state.
The state and city units of the Congress are celebrating party leader Rahul Gandhi’s birthday as Sankalp Divas. Former minister and party MLA Sunil Deshmukh is set to rejoin the party on Saturday in the presence of key party leaders.