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Tuesday, December 15, 2009 03:08:25 PM, Staff Reporter

Veteran socialist leader Nehal Ahmed (in cap) voting for the Congress candidate. This is for the first time in his 65-year long political career Nehal Ahmed has sided with Congress

(Photo: Shahid Faizee/

Congress, latest victim of The Malegaon Blast: The Congress led ruling alliance in Maharashtra may have regained power in the state. In Malegaon, however, it has to face humiliating defeat. The reason? It may... Read Full

Congress out of the race in Malegaon: Exit Poll

Malegaon: Amid high drama and contrary to widely publicised speculations, the Indian National Congress (INC) candidate Ejaz Baig faced humiliating defeat in the mayor election for the Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC) that held today morning.


Congress mayoral candidate Ejaz Baig is defeated by the Janata Dal (Secular) rebel candidate Malik Yunus Eisa who was supported by the ruling Third Front. Ruling Third Front in Malegaon is led by the sitting MLA Mufti Mohd Ismael.


Speculations regarding the mayor elections were rife ever since the Congress sitting MLA Shaikh Rashid lost the assembly election held in October this year. It was emphasised that the party was trying everything in its hands to capture the power in over-100-crore budget 72-member Malegaon Municipal Corporation (MMC) as a face-saving for the national party.


The Municipal Corporation in Malegaon was ruled by the Third Front - a newly formed political front led by Mufti Mohd. Ismael and few other Muslim Ulemas. Third Front had taken the reign of the Corporation defeating more than fifty years rule of Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) when the elections were held for the Civic Body in 2007.


After leading the Third Front to victory in Civic elections, its leader Mufti Mohd Ismael created the history by defeating the political stalwarts Nehal Ahmed of Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress candidate and sitting MLA Shaikh Rashid in the assembly elections. Mufti Ismael in-turn became the first serving Imam to enter the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.


Faced by the defeat described by the political observers as unexpected, Congress party and Shaikh Rashid were trying hard to take the revenge by defeating Malik Yunus Eisa who won the election as Janata Dal (Secular) candidate but later rebelled and joined the Third Front.


Malik Yunus Eisa after winning the Mayor election in Malegaon on December 15, 2009.

(Photo: Shahid Faizee/


However, when the election results came today at around 12:00 in the noon, Malik comfortably defeated Congress candidate Eejaz Baig and former Civic Body president by securing 36 votes in the 72-member civic body. Eejaz could get the support of just 32 corporators.


In yet another political drama, while two-member Samajwadi Party (SP) supported the Congress, its bet-e-noire Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) having two corporators abstained from voting even though the party corporators were present in the hall.


Equally surprising was the scene when corporators belonging to Shiv Sena (SS), a party known for its anti-Muslim rhetoric preferred to support Malik Yunus Eisa who was supported by a Muslim cleric and a serving Imam.


Meanwhile, the Third Front candidate Narendra Sonawane defeated the Janata Dal (Secular) candidate Shan-e-Hind in the Deputy Mayor elections that succeeded the mayoral elections. Narendra Sonawane got the 36 votes while Shan-e-Hind could just get 32 votes.


This is the first time in the history of local politics when former minister and veteran socialist leader Nehal Ahmed in his 65-year long political career joined the hands with the Congress party. As part of the arrangements, Nehal Ahmed's support to the Congress was in exchange of Congress party's support to Nehal Ahmed's daughter Shan-e-Hind as Deputy Mayor. However, all calculations went wrong when the Third Front candidate, Narendra Sonawane defeated Shan-e-Hind in the Deputy Mayor elections.


Earlier, the ruling Congress Party met with the same fate when its official candidates were defeated first in the Parliamentary elections held in April-May 2009 and later in Assembly elections held in October this year.


The Muslim dominated textile town in North Maharashtra was once regarded as the Congress stronghold. But ever since the town witnessed the terrorist attacks in 2006 and 2008, anti-Congress sentiments are rampant in the town due to - as a vast majority in the town believes - the ruling party's unjust, ignorant and step-motherly attitude towards Muslims in Malegaon and arrest of the Muslim youths as conspirators of the 2006 serial blast outside a mosque in which all the victims were Muslims. For the 2008 blast, the Investigating Agencies have arrested the terrorists belonging to Hindu right wing parties.










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