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Former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Maruti Bhapkar has decided not to contest the Mohan Nagar bypolls of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation in view of the ruling NCP deciding to field a woman candidate from the family of the murdered corporator Avinash Tekawade. The brutal murder of Tekawade last month had necessitated this election dates of which would be announced soon.
In 2007, Bhapkar had represented the Mohan Nagar ward as an independent corporator. However, Tekawade had defeated him during the 2012 election contesting on an NCP ticket. While Tekawade had polled 3,054 votes, Bhapkar had polled 1,718 votes and had come third. The Shiv Sena candidate had polled 1,958 votes and had come second.
The murder of Tekawade had left his seat vacant which will now see a bypoll. Bhapkar and various other candidates from the Shiv Sena had declared their intention to contest the polls. The winner will however retain the seats for just over a year as the PCMC will go for general elections in 2017.
Bhapkar, talking about his decision to withdraw, said it was taken after it emerged that the NCP would be fielding a woman candidate from Tekawade’s family. “My family and Tekawade’s family goes a long way and we have cordial relations. It would be unwise on my part to contest against any of the family members in an election which has been brought about in such tragic situations,” he said.