As many as 561 candidates have filed their nominations across 21 constituencies in Pune district by the last date of filing of forms, on Saturday. Of these, a total of 203 candidates have filed their nominations from a total of eight Assembly seats coming in the city.
Amidst changing political equations in the wake of the severing of ties between the BJP and the Shiv Sena as well as the Congress and the NCP, as many as 335 candidates filed their nomination on the last day of filing of forms, taking the overall tally of candidates to 561, a release issued by district election authorities said.
The actual number of contestants who will choose to remain in the poll fray, however, will be known by October 1, which is the last date for withdrawal of candidatures before the scrutiny of forms, as per the poll schedule announced by the Election Commission.
Indapur assembly constituency, which is represented by the State Cooperation Minister Harshavardhan Patil, has witnessed the maximum — 45 candidates, followed by Pimpri (40) and Bhosari and Wadgaonsheri (35 each).
Kothrud assembly seat, where Shiv Sena’s Chandrakant Mokate is sitting MLA, has the lowest number of aspirants — 15.
Ambegaon and Purandar, with 16 and 18 candidates respectively, have the lowest number of candidates eying poll chances among different constituencies in the Pune district.
Among other assembly constituencies in Pune, a total of 29 candidates have filed their nomination in Hadapsar while Kasba Peth seat has 24 aspirants.
The Shivajinagar and the Pune Cantonment seat have 23 candidates each, while 22 candidates will be in the election fray from the Parvati seat while another 32 from Khadakwasla.
Speaking with Newsline, Jayashree Katare, media in-charge for district election office, said requirement of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) would be confirmed after the stipulated date for withdrawal of nominations by candidates on October 1.
“Each EVM usually accommodates 15 candidates plus one button for NOTA (None of the Above NOTA. Accordingly, we will decide the number of EVMs required in each constituency in Pune district after October 1,” she said.
Meanwhile, from Vadgaonsheri, sitting NCP legislator Bapu Pathare would be facing challenge from former state minister and Congress candidate Chandrakant Chhajed and BJP candidate Jagdish Mulick apart from Sunile Tingre of MNS.
In Khadakwasla, BJP legislator Bhimrao Tapkir would be challenged by NCP candidate Dilip Barate, MNS candidate Laygude, Congress candidate Shrirang Chavan.
In Hadapsar, sitting Shiv Sena legislator Mahadev Babar would have to struggle to retain the seat with BJP candidate Yogesh Tilekar and Congress candidate Chandrakant Shivarkar.
The Kasba Peth has been a stronghold of BJP but its sitting legislator Girish Bapat would have a tough time to get elected with Shiv Sena fielding Prashant Badhe, MNS candidate Ravindra Dhangekar, Congress candidate Rohit Tilak.
In Shivajinagar, sitting Congress legislator Vinayak Nimhan is facing trouble from Vijay Kale of BJP, Raju Pawar of MNS, Anil Bhosale of NCP and Milind Ekbote of Shiv Sena.
The Pune Cantonment seat would see BJP candidate Dilip Kamble, MNS candidate Ajay Tayade taking on sitting Congress legislator Ramesh Bagawe.
The Parvati seat was won by BJP candidate Madhuri Misal in the previous election and she will now face direct contest from Sachin Taware of Shiv Sena, Subhash Jagtap of NCP and Abhay Chhajed of Congress.
The Kothrud assembly segment is expected to be the toughest of all, with Shiv Sena sitting legislator Chandrakant Mokate facing contest from MNS candidate Kishor Shinde and BJP candidate Medha Kulkarni.