The Aam Aadmi Party has decided to field former Independent corporator Maruti Bhapkar from Maval Lok Sabha constituency. Bhapkar’s candidature was one of the 30 declared by the party on Thursday.
Bhapkar, who is known in the twin township of Pimpri-Chinchwad for his agitation against various malpractices, had unsuccessfully contested the 2009 general elections. He was an Independent corporator from Mohan Nagar, but was defeated in the civic polls two years ago.
During his tenure as corporator, Bhapkar had raised high water tax, illegal constructions and other issues. He had also undertaken a fast-unto-death to protest against the proposed increase in water tax in the area. Long before the ward or mohalla sabhas started gaining currency, Bhapkar would hold sabhas in his ward to take any major decision. In fact, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal had attended these sabhas to understand how such meetings work.
Other than highlighting issues related to corruption in the civic body, Bhapkar was also associated with the farmers’ protest against forceful land acquisition in Maval. Incidentally, he had led the farmers’ protest in Maan and other villages against the expansion of Hinjewadi software park. He has also been associated with movements in Katraj and Urana in Raigad district against land acquisition for the proposed Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. He also has been active in various workers’ movements in the township.
Asked about his poll plank, Bhapkar said other than corruption, he would raise the issue of all-round holistic development of the region. “Agro tourism can become an important source of income in that area (Maval). Also, my campaign plank will consist of increasing the frequency of local trains between Pune and other stations and reduction of the red zone in the township,” he said.
Bhapkar said he would also fight against forceful land acquisition for industries and special economic zones.
AAP’s 10 in state
Maruti Bhapkar: Maval
Lalit Babar: Solapur
Sanjeev Sane: Thane
Nandu Madhav: Beed
Deelip Mhaske: Jalna
Wamanrao Sudaishirao: Chandrapur
Sameena Abdulmajid Khan: Sangli
Bhawna Bhavesh Vasnik: Amravati