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Before big polls,parties to test waters in civic show

The District Planning Development Committee elections on January 31 will not only herald the poll season,but also test the strengths and weaknesses of all major political parties ahead of Lok Sabha polls.

Written by Ajay Khape | Pune |
January 7, 2009 11:05:59 pm

The District Planning Development Committee (DPDC) elections on January 31 will not only herald the poll season,but also test the strengths and weaknesses of all major political parties ahead of Lok Sabha polls.

A total of 89 candidates have filed nomination papers for the 40-member committee to be elected in the municipal corporations (20),Zilla Parishad (18) and municipal councils (2). There are 21 assembly segments in the district spread across four Lok Sabha constituencies — Pune city,Baramati,Shirur and Maval. Thus,all the political parties gearing up for the Lok Sabha and assembly elections would want to bag as many seats as possible in the DPDC polls.

“Planning of public welfare schemes of the government is done by the DPDC. Though the committee is under the Guardian Minister,every political party wants to have a say in the planning process,” said city Congress chief Abhay Chhajed.

The city Congress unit has fielded five corporators ,along with other elected members of the party from Zilla Parishad and Municipal Councils. Apart from representing their local civic bodies,Chhajed said,those elected to the DPDC will get an opportunity to reach out to the masses through their work. “This will help the member and subsequently his party in the assembly and Lok Sabha polls,” he said. A senior BJP leader admitted that his party was negotiating with the Shiv Sena and the NCP to get its members elected to the DPDC. “Our presence in the local civic bodies in the district is less compared to the NCP and the Congress. However,the saffron alliance has fielded few candidates to ensure its victory with the help of other political parties,” he said. The NCP has a hold over the district with the party in power in PMC,PCMC and Zilla Parishad. It had also managed to bag 16 of the 30 seats in the first election for the Metropolitan Planning Committee for the Pune Metropolitan Region.

“We would further strengthen our hold on the district is we get maximum candidates of the party elected to DPDC,” city NCP chief Jaideo Gaikwad said,adding that efforts would be made to get party candidates elected unopposed.

A total of 29 corporators from various political parties have filed their nominations for the 20 members to be elected to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). Mayor Rajlaxmi Bhosale,former mayor Suresh Shewale,former Pimpri-Chinchwad Mayor Vaishali Ghodekar,Sunil Bankar and Anil Bhosale of NCP have already filed their nomination pepers.

The Congress has fielded corporators Arvind Shinde,Rashid Sheikh,Reena Pawar,Rekha Tingare and Shivaji Bangar while MNS has fielded corporators Rajendra Wagaskar and Rajendra Gorade. The BJP has fielded corporators Madhuri Misal and Asha Landge. Nomination papers will be scrutinised on January 7. The last date for withdrawing nominations is January 16.

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