With hardly few months left for the next election of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), political scenario in the city has started heating up for the civic body polls with the local leaders of the BJP and Shiv Sena taking shots at each other.
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“BJP’s popularity has gone down drastically in the recent past while Shiv Sena’s popularity has increased as it has been raising public issues. Local BJP leaders are deliberately spreading false rumours that pre-poll alliance with Shiv Sena is on the cards. Sena is geared up to contest the civic polls on its own,” said city Sena chief Vinayak Nimhan.
He said there is fear among the city unit of BJP on possible adverse impact of demonetisation. “The decision of demonetisation was good but existing situation indicates that no preparation was done for it. Common citizens are suffering,” Nimhan said.
He said the BJP managed to win the Lok Sabha elections and all eight Assembly seats from the city in 2014 due to anti-incumbency against the Congress-led government along with the Modi wave. The Modi wave has subsided now and the local BJP is playing politics by floating pre-poll alliance rumours, he added.
Meanwhile, city BJP chief Yogesh Gogawale said that the BJP had offered to shake hands with the Shiv Sena for a pre-poll alliance but no decision has been taken on it yet. “The decision on the pre-poll alliance would be taken at the higher level. At present, there has been no meeting on discussion of pre-poll alliance at the local level,” he said.
On the inconvenience caused to people due to demonetisation, Gogawale said the people support the Union government’s decision.
“There is inconvenience to citizens due to shortage of new notes in the bank. This will be over in the next few days,” he said.
He further revealed that the local BJP has undertaken a special programme to make the city “cashless”.
The BJP is also facilitating talks with the banks and small traders to introduce card swiping machines at shops, he said, adding that four cooperative banks have assured of supporting the initiative to provide the machines to small shops. “These shops would be displaying the list of acceptable to enable purchase of goods through cards,” he said.