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Sachin Ahir appointed new Mumbai NCP chief

Sachin Ahir

Mumbai:  With over a year to go for the crucial Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, former Maharashtra Minister Sachin Ahir was today named as the president of the Mumbai unit of NCP.

Meanwhile, party spokesman Nawab Malik will hold the charge of party vice president as well as the in-charge of the Mumbai unit, party’s state unit president Sunil Tatkare announced here today.

Ahir said that the party will contest the BMC elections independently.

He said that due to the alliance with Congress in the last 15 years, his party could not carve out an identity for itself among voters. “We could not develop our own vote bank,” Ahir admitted.

“My endeavour will be to rebuild the organisation from booth to ward level in Mumbai and field candidates for all 227 seats,” he said.

When asked about the Bombay High Court ordering stringent norms for setting up of temporary pandals during festivals, such as dahi handi, Navratri and Ganeshotsav on public roads and footpaths, Ahir said the state government should intervene in the matter.

“The previous Congress-NCP government had moved the Supreme Court in high court ruling regarding dahi handis and the verdict was stayed,” he said.

Festivals cannot be disruptive, he said adding that such celebrations existed much before cities were created.

Last month, the high court ruled that no citizen can claim fundamental right to worship God or offer prayer at any and every place, unless it is a significant place of worship.

Meanwhile, Tatkare said the office-bearers and executive committee of Mumbai NCP would be announced in a fortnight.

Tatkare said Congress-NCP had decided to coordinate its floor management strategy for the upcoming monsoon session of the state legislature.

“The hooch tragedy, which claimed more than 100 lives, farmers issues and the corruption charges against BJP ministers would be raised in the session,” he added.

Tatkare added that if the government’s intentions in classifying madrasas as non-schools were genuine it should have taken the community into confidence.

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