[Bulund Iqbal of Azeem Ittehad and BJP's Sunil Aba Gaekwad with others from both the parties filing their nomination papers on Friday June 09, 2017.]
Malegaon: Ditched and sidelined by the Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) which contested the Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC) elections in alliance with the Janata Dal (S) on Friday struck a deal with the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for the mayor election to be held on June 14.
The move came a day after the Congress surprised the NCP by joining hands with the Shiv Sena and declaring that Shaikh Rasheed of Congress and Sakharam Ghodke of the Shiv Sena will respectively for the Mayor and Deputy Mayor elections in Malegaon.
As it looked apparent that Shaikh Rasheed and Sakharam Ghodke will win the mayor and deputy mayor election without any challenge, the NCP-Janata Dal alliance in a swift move reached out to the BJP and decided to strike a pact for the ensuing elections for the two key civic posts.
Consequently, Janata Dal (S) president and leader of NCP-JD(S) Azeem Ittehad Bulund Iqbal and BJP president Sunil Aba Gaikwad filed nomination papers to contest the elections for the post of mayor and deputy mayor respectively.
Friday was the last day to file the nomination papers.
BJP's Deputy Mayor candidate Sunil Aba Gaikwad is a fomer NCP leader who had contested the 2014 assembly elections as the party candidate against Shiv Sena's Dada Bhuse. He joined the BJP just before the Malegaon Municipal election.
Interestingly, Shiv Sena Deputy Mayor candidate Sakhar Ghodke is a former Congress man who had won the civic election on Congress ticket many times in the past.
Like, Sunil Gaikwad he joined the Shiv Sena just before the Malegaon Municipal elections and won. Along with him, his daughter also won the May 24 Malegaon MMC polls.
With Azeem Ittehad joining hands with the BJP, the Malegaon Mayor and Deputy Mayor election has become interesting.
The Congress and Shiv Sena together have a total of 41 members whereas Azeem Itthad and BJP will jointly have 36 members.
Against this backdrop, the role of Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) which has a total of 07 members, has become important. The party has not yet opened its card except declaring that it will maintain distance with Shiv Sena and BJP at any cost.