New Delhi: Springing a surprise, Nationalist Congress Party, which has won just six wards, Thursday announced its candidate for the post of Mayor in the hung South Delhi Municipal Corporation with support from Congress and other smaller parties.
The NCP said the Congress` decision to support its candidate was taken at the "highest level" of both parties and sought the support of BSP, SP and other parties to keep the BJP out in South Delhi Municipal Corporation.
Phulkali Narwal, a Dalit who was elected to the Corporation from Badarpur, will be the party`s nominee for the Mayor post, which the BJP is trying to win with support from Independents and other parties.
NCP`s announcement comes after Congress decided not to contest for the post after Dikshit and Agarwal reportedly did not favour the party claiming the post.
No party could get majority in South Delhi civic body forcing the BJP, which has emerged the single largest party, to depend on Independents and others. While the BJP has 44 seats, the Congress has won 29 wards.
"The NCP will contest the Mayor elections in South Delhi. We have the support of the Congress. Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and DPPC chief J P Agarwal spoke to me to convey the party`s decision to support NCP candidate," Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, Chairman of the Central Election Committee of the party, told reporters here.
He said the Congress has 37 votes, including the MPs and MLAs in the region, NCP (6), BSP (5) and SP (1).
Bidhuri said the party has launched talks with smaller outfits for their support for its candidate.
"We have spoken to a few parties and Independents. We will be speaking to others as well. We want all secular parties to support us," he said.
He said senior NCP leader Tariq Anwar was in touch with other parties to seek their support and NCP chief Sharad Pawar might also speak to some outfits if the need arises.
Asked whether the Congress members would support the NCP candidate, Bidhuri said since the decision in this regard was taken at the "highest level" of Congress everyone would follow it.
He said the party would strive hard to develop South Delhi further as it can coordinate well with the city government.
The NCP leader said the party`s nominee Narwal is principal of a public school in Delhi.