With the geographical boundaries and reservation of seats for the 2017 civic polls declared on Friday, it has become clear that several bigwigs, mostly of the ruling NCP, including mayor Prashant Jagtap, as well as the Congress, MNS and Shiv Sena, will have to sweat it out to get re-elected to the PMC and dash the hopes of the upbeat BJP, which is eyeing to grab power after its performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
The draw for the reservation of seats in different categories for the 2017 Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) elections was held Friday. The exercise also set the boundaries of the electoral panel. Under the new boundaries, Mayor Prashant Jagtap of the NCP will have to seek election from the extended area which has two sitting Congress corporators. Jagtap has now accused the BJP of interfering in the election process. “We will approach the state election commission as the delimitation process was done keeping in mind the interest of one political party,” he alleged. “The voters would also teach the BJP a lesson in the ensuing civic polls.”
The electoral panel represented by MNS leader Vasant More has been split and divided into three electoral panels, while the area of former mayor and NCP leader Dattatraya Dhankawade has been extended to the MNS and Congress-dominated area, which might lead to a straight contest between More and Dhankawade. Senior NCP leader Subhash Jagtap and his wife Usha might have to take on former deputy mayor and senior Congress leader Ulhas Bagul and sitting BJP corporator Varsha Tapkir as the panel represented by the former has now been extended to the area represented by the latter two.
Rajendra Wagaskar and his wife Vanita Wagaskar of the MNS would have to face the bigwigs of the Congress and NCP as their electoral panel has been merged with the panel represented by former mayor Chanchala Kodre of the NCP and former deputy mayor Bandu Gaikwad of Congress.
Senior MNS leader Ravindra Dhangekar, who had posed a tough challenge to district Guardian Minister Girish Bapat in the last two Assembly elections, will have to contest against BJP leader Ganesh Bidkar. The delimitation would also pit Shiv Sena leaders Yogesh Mokate and Shyam Deshpande against MNS leader Kisshore Shinde. NCP corporator Deepak Mankar, who had defected from Congress, will face Shiv Sena leaders Prithviraj Sutar and Prashant Badhe, along with many BJP aspirants, including Ujjwal Keskar, who is trying to make a comeback.