That polling will be held on February 16 a working day has surprised many,but political parties have welcomed the move. The State Election Commission has justified the move,arguing that citizens generally want to enjoy the weekend and skip polling. This is an attempt to increase the voting percentage, said SEC Neela Satyanarayan.
NCP spokesperson Ankush Kakade said they were not bothered about the date as they had been preparing for the election for the past one year. “We held meetings,camps,discussions and planned our strategy well in advance. So,we are not bothered about the date, he said. Kakade however said the EC has taken the right decision. NCP city unit president Vandana Chavan too said her party was geared up and well-placed than other parties.
“Before the EC could bring in code of conduct,we have already released our manifesto in Pimpri-Chinchwad in the morning. After the EC brought in the code in the afternoon,we declared our manifesto for PMC elections,” Chavan said.
Shiv Sena city chief Shyam Deshpande too welcomed the EC move. “Generally on Saturdays and Sundays when polling is held,many citizens go on weekends and do not exercise their franchise. The voting on working day will help increase polling per centage,” he said. Deshpande said Puneites are not bothered about the date,but they know which party can ensure sustainable development. The Shiv Sena has been consistent in stance on Pune’s development. It has played a major role in pushing development projects or ensuring that proper policies are put in place, he said. Party leaders said the state government generally takes a holiday on the polling day.
MNS city unit chief Ravindra Dhangekar said SEC decision to hold elections on working days is in line with party chief Raj Thackeray’s style of functioning.
Our chief believes in doing some thing different. That is why MNS is the first party which has introduced written exams and interviews for candidates. No other party has done anything of this sort. The SEC’s decision of holding elections on the working day fall in the same category and we welcome the move.
Satish Desai of the Congress said they too have no problem with the day. And also we have no problem if the ZP results are declared before municipal corporations. Such results have no bearing on civic polls, he said.
Code violation plaint
The election code of conduct came into force from 3.30 pm on Tuesday. At the same time,Deputy Chief Minister was busy inaugurating a garden project in Bhosari. According to the election code of conduct,no public project can be inaugurated once the code of conduct comes into force.
The Pimpri-Chinchwad Shiv Sena has objected to this and has decided to file complaint with the election commissioner. However,EC officers said though the election code of conduct came into force at 3.30 pm,the information reaches to civic bodies after a couple of hours. So technically,3.30 pm is not taken in to account. But the EC will take the finall call on this matter, said an officer.
Did it know date?
Lastek,Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar inaugurated as many as 14 development projects in Pimpri-Chinchwad. And today,by 3.30 pm,when the election code of conduct came into force,Pawar inaugurated 14 projects in Pimpri-Chinchwad. The last project a garden as inaugurated exactly at 3.30 pm. Political parties have raised questions as to whether the Deputy CM was aware of the poll date. If he was,then this is serious issue. The EC needs to come clean on this, said MP Gajanan Babar. However,SEC Neela Satyanarayan clarified that she had told everyone including the media and politicians,that she would make the announcement in the first week of January. Probably because of this they might have hurried up with inaugurations. But the EC had informed the CM or the Deputy CM about the poll date in advance, she said.
Congress forms out
On day one of making the candidate registration forms available,the 155 individuals bought the forms for the Congress. The forms would now be available till January 6 and the submission will take place between January 6 to 9. On day one,Abhay Chhajed,the city chief collected his candidature form besides others. Officials at the Congress Bhavan said that the work of designing the manifesto is currently on and it will be released after a week.
Zp elections on feb 7
According to district collector Vikas Deshmukh,elections will be conducted on February 7. Nominations for the Zilla Parishad elections will be from January 18-22 while verification of forms will be done on January 24. Appeals will be heard on on January 27 and the final list will come on on January 30. Those cases of appeal will be given by February 1.
While symbols and the final list will be given on January 30. While the counting day will be February 8 and the final list of winners should be published before February 16 for these elections. With the election code of conduct in place letters have been circulated use of symbols on cars as well as use of officials vehicles for campaigns. Circulars regarding defacement too will be circulated.
BJP last round
While Pimpri-Chinchwad BJP unit will complete 94 interviews of the 215 applications received,the city unit of the BJP is in the last round of discussions of seat sharing and will conduct the interviews later in the week. City president Vikas Mathkari said that the city unit had received nearly 400 applications and interviews will be conducted after the seat sharing is announced. We are in the last lap of discussions and the seat sharing should be finalised between Sena and RPI by the end of this week, he said.