Jalna: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has dumped its symbol and fighting as independent candidate for the post of President of Partur Municipal Council election aiming the vote bank.
The elections to the posts of President and 20 councillors are scheduled on November 27. The post of president has been reserved for the women candidates, who will be elected directly by people.
BJP leader and water supply and sanitation minister in Maharashtra Cabinet Babanrao Lonikar has wrapped his wife Mandabai Lonikar as an independent candidate backed by Partur Vikas Shahar Aghadi.
However, the BJP has fielded some candidates on lotus symbol for the seats of councillors in majority community dominated areas. The BJP and its allies, contesting different symbols in wards are trying to woo the voters of all communities. It is difficult for the Aghadi to convince the voters as different parties have different symbols. “For the development of Partur and to seek support of all communities, we are contesting for the post of president on independent symbol. However, we are contesting for the posts of councilors on lotus symbol,” said Lonikar.
Congress leader and ex-MLA Suresh Jethliya’s wife Vimal Jethliya, former president of Partur council has been pitched against Mandabai.
Jethliya, who has good hold in the town particularly among Muslim, Dalit and OBC voters, is facing tough challenge due to Lonikar and its Aghadi.
To divide the votes of the Congress, Lonikar is leaving no stone unturned. The Congress has been controlling the Partur council for long and Lonikar is meddling in the affairs of the Partur council, say the political experts.
“Babanrao Lonikar is creating obstacles in the development works carried out by the Partur council,” alleged Suresh Jethliya.
Nationalist Congress Party has not entered into alliance with the Congress. The NCP has fielded its candidate Anwarnissa Begum, who is proving to be a hard nut to crack for Congress candidate Vimal Jethliya.
There are six candidates in the fray for the posts of president and 71 candidates for 20 seats of councilors. The election has become a prestige issue for Lonikar; hence, he is trying hard to capture the council