PMC elections 2017: Independents toil hard to emerge victorious

Three out of four independent candidates who won were know for their affiliation to the leading political parties.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | Published:February 25, 2017 2:25 am
PMC polls, independent candidates, winner independent candidates, pune civic polls, pune municipal polls, india news, indian express news Independent candidates Kailas Barne and Ashok Kamble

FROM among the four independent candidates who won the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) elections from their respective panels, three are well known for their affiliation to leading political parties.  Even as Reshma Bhosale contested as an independent, she was supported by the BJP while Ravindra Dhangekar who also fought the election as an independent was supported by the Congress. While Ruksana Inamdar won as an independent from the Sayyednagar Mohammedwadi panel 24 – B, she had support from NCP. However, Ashok Kamble from Panel 24 -A Ramtekdi won the election on his own steam and without any political backing.

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The NCP-Congress dominated Panel 24 saw an upset when the final round of counting proved to be the decider and led to the defeat of Satish alias Bandu Londhe, a Congressman in the Ramtekdi area. It seemed a smooth sailing for Congress candidate Satish Londhe in Panel 24 (A) as he was leading in the fourth round of counting of votes. So much so that party workers started cheering and celebrating the win at the Wanowrie counting centre on Thursday. It was only in the final round of counting that the tables turned and marked a clear win for Kamble. He polled 9,284 votes while Londhe could manage only 7,957 votes, a victory margin of 1,327 votes.

Kamble, who emerged as a dark horse in this race, said he was not supported by any party and pointed that all the people staying in the Ramtekdi slum area were like his family. “Promises are made by various elected members and forgotten. So, I decided enough is enough. There are so many women who paid nearly Rs 2 lakh to own a small room in Ramtekdi but to no avail, Hence winning elections was the only way I can now help them pursue their goal,” he said.

Ruksana Inamdar, who is a homemaker, is well known in the Sayyednagar-Ramtekdi area mainly because her husband Shamshuddin has been engaged with social work for the last 20 years. The ward was reserved for women and the natural choice fell on Inamdar’s wife. “We were denied party tickets by sitting corporator Farookh Inamdar. However, since he also did not get NCP’s party ticket, he set up his own panel and pitched Sarika Shinde as an independent candidate. NCP had given the ticket to one Samina Mulani, whose form was rejected. It was on the intervention of Anand Alkunte (elected as NCP candidate from Panel 24) that the party gave a support letter. Since the ward was reserved for women I asked my wife to contest the election,” Shamshuddin said.

Ruksana, who got 7,308 votes, expressed her gratitude to Alkunte and said she was happy that she got a chance to contest the elections and could now take more development works ahead in the Sayyednagar area.

In Pimpri-Chinchwad, five independent candidates have been elected. The BJP claimed that all of them were their rebel candidates.

Among them include Navnath Jagtap, who defeated Rajendra Jagtap in Gurav Pimple. While Navnath is the nephew of BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad president Laxman Jagtap, Rajendra is the brother of Laxman Jagtap.

Similarly, Kailas Barne (34) won from panel 23 (Thergaon). He defeated sitting corporator Sampat Pawar of the Shiv Sena and former corporator Satish Darekar of the NCP. The BJP had fielded Sambhaji Barne. Kailas secured 5,024 votes while his closest rival Sambhaji could secure only 4,500 votes. “I was told that in the survey carried out by the party, it was found that I would not win…That’s why I think the party rejected my request for nomination,” said Kailas.

Other independents who won include Sadhana Malekar from Chikhli, Sheetal Kute of Akurdi and Neeta Padale of Kalewadi.

With inputs from Manoj More
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