WITH JUST six months left for the civic polls, political aspirants are waiting for the draft pertaining to delimitation of electoral panel for the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to plan out their strategies.
The number of corporators to be elected from PMC has increased from 152 to 162. Also, the state government has decided to hold elections by forming a panel of four wards. Thus, there will be 40 electoral panels with four wards in 38 panels and five wards in two panels.
The number of reserved seats has increased in SC category to 22 with four seats added, ST category has gone up to two, with one seat addition and OBC strength has shot up from 41 to 44 seats. The 50 per cent seats in all categories would be reserved for women as per the state government rule.
According to the programme of Election Commission, the draft of delimitation would be prepared by September 7 and finalised by November 25. The NCP is currently in power in PMC and faces a tough challenge from the BJP. However, Mayor Prashant Jagtap has undertaken a programme ‘Mayor at your doorstep’ to woo the voters and stay in power.
“It was difficult to plan anything for the upcoming civic polls as there has been a change in the election process, which is yet unclear. Everybody is waiting for the delimitation process that would decide the geographical boundaries of the electoral panel,” said former NCP corporator Nilesh Nikam.
The elections are going to be tough but any strategy for it would be decided only after the area and reservation of seats is declared, he said. MNS corporator Anil Rane said he was prepared for the elections and would seek votes on his performance in the current term. “I have done a lot of development work in the existing electoral panel. I am confident about my area but I would want to highlight the work done in a new area from where I will have to seek votes,” he added.
Congress corporator and deputy mayor Mukari Algude said that the state’s decision to form an electoral panel of four wards would not deter his chances of being re-elected. “I am waiting for the delimitation to be declared, and then I will plan a strategy to reach out to the voters,” he said.
The BJP is upbeat this year too after it won all the eight Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat from the city previously. “The party has started the preparation by setting up a network at local level. The BJP is geared up for the civic polls,” said BJP leader.