She could be the first woman from the Muslim community to hold the post in Pune
Among the four contenders for the Pimpri-Chinchwad Mayor post,Shamim Pathan,61,from the NCP happens to be the favourite of party leaders. Pathan faces tough competition from Mohini Lande,wife of MLA Vilas Lande,Nanda Takawane and Jamabai Barne. Other NCP leaders believe that Pathans win will not only raise stock of the party in the country but will also be a matter of pride for Pune,which never had a Muslim woman donning the crown. The Mayoral elections are due on March 13.
Outgoing Mayor Yogesh Behl is of the opinion that the sole rights for electing the Mayor are reserved with Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar who has been calling the shots in PCMC for too long now. Our leader will take the final call. But it is clear that Shamim Pathan is a strong contender for the top post. She has a sound knowledge of the functioning of the PCMC, Behl said.
MLA Laxman Jagtap said: Pathans becoming the first Muslim mayor of Pimpri-Chinchwad will send out a good message in the country. The Shiv Sena,which is likely to get the Opposition leaders mantle,thinks it to be an internal matter of the NCP,but they have axe to grind against Shamim Pathan.
She is mature and an experienced corporator with good academic qualifications,which will enhance the prestige of the post, said Sena leader Sarang Kamtekar.
The biggest support for Pathan happens to be Pune NCP chief and former mayor,Vandana Chavan. Chavan said she would urge Ajit Pawar to select Pathan for the post. In fact,NCP chief Sharad Pawar has been asking party leaders to bring Muslim woman forward and he had also encouraged many Muslim women to contest on NCP ticket. Pathan has experience with her. Being a retired teacher,she automatically lends respectability to the post, Chavan said. Pawar had last intervened in Pimpri-Chinchwad when a candidate for parliamentary seat was being decided. Pawar had then picked Azam Pansare to contest from Maval seat.
A former civic standing committee chairperson,Pathan has been elected to PCMC twice in the past. I won by a close margin of 14 votes. I have lots of support from my party workers, says the grandmother to three children.