There are still six months to go for civic elections but some things never die in politics. Sunday turned out to be a Welcome day for the Shiv Sena and a Farewell day for other political parties in Mira-Bhayandar. Five sitting corporators in the Mira-Bhayandar Municipal Corporation (MBMC) two each from the Congress-NCP and the lone elected representative from the MNS abandoned their respective parties and jumped onto the Shiv Sena bandwagon in the presence of party president Uddhav Thackeray and MP Rajan Vichare at Matoshree on Sunday.
Those who have switched loyalties include Dinesh Nalawade, Raju Vetoskar (both Congress), Anita Patil, Vandana Vikas Patil (both NCP) and Arvind Thakur (MNS). The defections are said to be tactfully engineered by legislator Pratap Sarnaik. All have been reportedly given an assurance from Sena of a ticket for the civic polls, which are scheduled for August this year.
The trend of defectors is likely to intensify once the demarcation of wards take shape. Several current and former corporators are preparing to shift their allegiance to other parties before elections. Aiming to strengthen their numbers, the ruling parties - BJP and Shiv Sena - have emerged as potentially strong contenders to retain their clout over the municipal corporation, prompting several corporators to already start and make a beeline for them, sources said. As a matter of fact, every party offers tickets to candidates based on their win-ability. Nevertheless, it’s now a question of survival for the NCP and the Congress.