Tuesday, June 12, 2007

CM, Malegaon moulvis strike deal

JOINING HANDS: Members of the IMCP met Vilasrao Deshmukh on Monday

Mateen Hafeez I TNN

The Congress finally capitulated on Monday night and gave the Malegaon mayor’s post to the the threemonth old Indian Muslim Congress Party (IMCP) or Third Front, a party headed by Mufti Mohammed Ismail, high priest of Malegaon’s Jama Masjid.

The Congress and the IMCP will jointly rule the Malegaon municipal corporation for the next five years. This decision was taken at a meeting between the leaders of IMCP and chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, at the latter’s official residence.

Explaining the turnaround, Ismail, who till yesterday was talking of an alliance with the Shiv Sena said, “The ideological conflict is still there. We were talking to Shiv Sena but could not muster up the 37 seats needed for majority and therefore, when we got an offer from the Congress we agreed. All this is for Malegaon’s development.’’

He added, “We contested the election on the development issues since we realised there was a lot of work to be done for the city. The residents of Malegaon voted for us and now we are looking forward for their upliftment.’’

The IMCP bagged 27 seats in the 72-member corporation elections. Congress has 15 seats and the Nihal Ahmed-led Janata Dal (Secular) could manage only 12 seats. The Shiv Sena bagged seven seats, and the Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena won two.

The CM agreed to IMCP’s demand and they will get the post of mayor for five years. The office of the deputy mayor will be held by Congress.

Deshmukh congratulated Ismail and said the two parties should work together. “We should work for the development of Malegaon. Leaders of the two parties know the issues and will work jointly to solve the problems,’’ he said.

The IMCP will have standing committee chairmanship for three years and a Congressman will hold the same post for two years. Likewise, the municipal corporation’s school board chairman will be from IMCP for three years and then from Congress for two years.


(The Times of India, June 12, 2007)

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