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
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...
Congress out of the race in Malegaon: Exit Poll
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
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,
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.