Nashikites have voted for a change. So, for a change, will Raj
Thackeray give Nashik its first Muslim Mayor? The question is
being asked in the Central Nashik ever since Maharashtra Navnirman
Sena (MNS) emerged as a single largest party in the 2012 civic
elections and dislodged Shiv Sena which was ruling the Nashik
Municipal Corporation (NMC) since last two terms.
"While seeking a change, Nashikites
have voted overwhelmingly for the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS)
irrespective of caste and religion. What is more important is that
the Muslims, who have won the elections on MNS tickets, have not
won from the Muslim pockets. They have been elected to the civic
body by the votes of all communities", Ms Daraksha Shaikh, who
claims to be an MNS supporter says while speaking to umimid.com.
Stating that the results of the
elections show the strong public mood in favour of
drastic changes at all levels, Ms Darakasha says that it is time
the MNS top leadership introduces new, young and dynamic leaders
in Nashik. "Electing a Muslim mayor can be one of the options for
the MNS top brass to covey strongly that it prefers business above
politics", she says.
Like Ms Daraksha, there are others
who also feel that a Muslim Mayor in Nashik is long over due and
it will be most appropriate if Raj Thackeray does it. Stating that
a Muslim Mayor in Nashik by MNS will send a very strong political
message all across the state, Aaquib Khan, a student, says, "It
will also help the MNS to completely override years of 'Sena
misrule' in Nashik and erase bitter experience from people's
The newly elected 122-member Nashik Civic Body
results of which were announced Friday has six Muslims as corporators.
This is the first time in the last 20 years history of the civic
body which runs Nashik - the fastest growing city in Maharashtra
that it has elected six Muslims.
While Maharashtra Navnirman Sena
which emerged as the single largest party in the elections has
sent three Muslims - Gulzar Konkani, Suhail Baig and Shaikh Saleem,
two Muslims Ms Memon Samina and Sufiyan Ibrahim have won the
elections on the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) tickets. The
sixth Muslim corporator Ms Shabana Pathan is an independent.
In a city of around 1.5mn people,
Muslims constitute around 3,50,000 population distributed in
different parts of Nashik. Local Muslims feel that they were
completely voiceless during the Sena rule and hence they were
neglected and suppressed at every level.
In fact, few months before the
Municipal elections, the Muslims had to struggle for support for
taking possession of the land reserved for a cemetery in the CIDCO
Ironically, there are also disputes
in other lands which are reserved for Qabristan. It is also
alleged that a Sena Corporator in fact virtually sold the
Qabrsitan land located in Gangapur area of the city after changing
"It is because of these facts and
daily goonda-gardi in the city that the locals dislodged
them from the power", Muneeb Khan, a local, says.
All eyes are now on Raj Thackeray to
see how he moves forward to get the needed support to bag power. Having won 40 seats,
Raj needs the support of 21 more members to reach to the magic
figure and rule the Nashik Civic Body.
A senior MNS leader while speaking to ummid.com
says that Raj will
be visiting the city Sunday to chalk-out the future strategy and
also to assess the possibility of an alliance with other parties.