Congress to prepare for all 227 BMC seats in next year’s civic polls: Nana Patole

In a meeting convened on Tuesday at the Congress party headquarters in Dadar, Patole also demanded restructuring of civic wards to give women candidates from reserved category more representation.

Newly-appointed Maharashtra Congress president Nana Patole on Tuesday said the party was “set to consolidate its base” across 227 wards in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ahead of the 2022 civic polls.

In a meeting convened on Tuesday at the Congress party headquarters in Dadar, Patole also demanded restructuring of civic wards to give women candidates from reserved category more representation.

A committee led by senior Congress leader Janardhan Chandurkar has been set up to look into the matter. The committee will present its report to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the state Election Commission for further action.

Speaking to mediapersons after the party meeting, Patole said, “The Congress is preparing for all 227 seats in BMC polls. The strategy was discussed in the meeting with other senior leaders.”

“The Congress has started ward-wise preparations across 227 seats. The party is working to increase its electoral base in every ward,” he added.

While indicating that the party will hold many such meetings as the situation evolves, the Congress avoided comment on an alliance with Shiv Sena and NCP – its alliance partners in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state — for BMC polls.

The former Assembly Speaker emphasised that the foremost task was to make the organisation stronger in Mumbai and Maharashtra.

The party also felt that women’s representation, specially from reserved categories such as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, in the civic body was poor, said Patole. “We have set up a committee led by Chandurkar. The committee will identify the flaws in the present structure and suggest changes. Restructuring a few wards cannot be ruled out to bring inclusive representatives to all categories, including women,” he said.

Those present at the meeting included Mumbai Congress chief Bhai Jagtap, former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, state Revenue Minister Balasaheb Thorat and PWD Minister Ashok Chavan.

During the meeting, the party discussed ward-wise strategies, as well as what projects and policies the Congress should raise within the government for the welfare of Mumbai city and its people.

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