As expected,NCP corporator Vaishali Bankar was elected mayor of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in the first meeting of the general body,with the NCP and Congress forging a post-poll alliance. The Congress also managed to get its official candidate Deepak Mankar elected as deputy mayor after ensuring that Mukari Algude who had entered the fray as a rebel,withdrew. Bankar,who received 82 votes,defeated BJP corporator Varsha Tapkir who got 41 votes.
The NCP and Congress has joined hands to get power in the PMC unlike immediately after the 2007 polls when the NCP had tied up with the Shiv Sena-BJP to claim the PMC reins.
The post-poll alliance of NCP and Congress ensured a straight contest between the NCP-Congress combine candidates and saffron alliance candidates for the mayoral polls. The MNS had not fielded any candidate for the mayor or deputy mayor posts.
In a House of 152,Bankar got 82 votes. NCP has 51 members and the Congress 28 members in the House making it 79 members together. Two RPI members and an Independent members votes took Bankar votes to 82. BJP corporator Varsha Tapkir got 41 votes of the saffron combine. The BJP has 26 members and Sena 15 members in the house. MNS,the second largest party in PMC with 29 corporators,had abstained from voting.
Mankar defeated Shiv Sena deputy mayoral candidate Vijay Deshmukh. The MNS is now hoping for the post of leader of Opposition.
Have done nothing wrong: Mankar
Newly elected deputy mayor Deepak Mankar has been in controversy after allegations against him in a land-grab case in which he was later acquitted. During the period,he was suspended from the Congress and had contested the 2009 assembly elections as an Independent candidate. He is known to be a loyalist of Suresh Kalmadi. I have been in politics for the last 28 years. I dont think I have done any wrong in public life. I would continue to work for the common public. The first thing on my agenda would be to bring the Shiv Srishti,a memorial Maratha warrior king Shivaji,at Kothrud, said Mankar.
The Congress might have suspended city MP Suresh Kalmadi,but he still has support from within the party as was evident during the election. After a long time,there were slogans in favour of Kalmadi in the PMC with party supporters rejoicing the appointment of Deepak Mankar as the deputy mayor. Despite party opposition,Mankar reportedly managed to get nominated due to Kalmadis influence. Party legislator Vinayak Nimhan had objected Mankars nomination,saying that would spoil the image of the party.
Bankar 7th woman mayor of city
Vaishali Bankar is the seventh woman mayor of the PMC and has been elected from a panel in Hadapsar. She is a first-time corporator elected from the seat reserved for OBC women. Her husband Sunil Bankar is a former corporator,elected twice to the civic body. The family is known as staunch loyalists of NCP chief Sharad Pawar and this worked in favour of Bankar to get the post of mayor. I have been entrusted with a big responsibility of being mayor. There is going to be a lot of pressure to perform and resolve issues of the city. The focus would be on streamlining the public transport system,ensuring equitable distribution of water across the city,women empowerment,transparency in administration and issues related to environment, said Bankar.