EVEN though the state Election Commission is yet to take a decision on conducting bypolls in two vacant civic wards in Pimpri-Chinchwad, political parties and aspirants have started preparing for them. The pre-election arrangements, however, may spring a surprise as the NCP and BJP are likely to join hands in one of the two civic wards.
The two civic seats fell vacant in July after two NCP corporators, Datta Sane and Javed Shaikh, succumbed to coronavirus disease.
Sane, a former opposition leader in the civic body, had won thrice from Prabhag No 1, Morevasti in Chikhali area. In the 2017 civic elections, Sane had won by a big margin of over 3,000 votes. Shaikh, a corporator from Akurdi-Kalbhornagar-Mohananagar prabhag, had won by over one thousand votes.
BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit chief Mahesh Landge said,”Though there has been no announcement about the bypoll yet, we are in the process of picking candidates. If someone from Sane’s family decides to contest, BJP will think of supporting them. This is because when I was going through a bad phase, Datta Sane had supported me.”
He said if the family was not interested, then the BJP will field a candidate. “We are discussing the issue in the party and will soon take a decision,” said Landge.
Welcoming his stance, NCP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit president Sanjoy Waghere said, “As per our information, family members of both the late corporators are keen to contest the bypoll. If they make a claim, we will consider them”.
NCP leader from Akurdi, Iklas Sayyed, however, said, “So far, Javed Shaikh’s family has not taken a decision in this regard.”
During the 2017 civic polls, NCP and Shiv Sena had contested against each other. “Now that the Maha Vikas Agahdi of NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress has been formed at state-level, we will also have to contest the election jointly. We will consult with our seniors and take a decision,” said Waghere.
“The decision regarding this election…. will be taken at the highest level. If we have to contest on our own, then we are ready for that,” said Yogesh Babar, president of Pimpri-Chinchwad’s Shiv Sena unit.
The Congress has no corporators in the PCMC.
PCMC municipal secretary Ulhas Jagap said elections will be conducted for both seats. “If the civic body has less than six months of its term remaining, then elections are not held. But since PCMC’s last elections were held in 2017 and the next elections will be held in 2022, there is enough time on hand. We are awaiting further orders from the State Election Commission,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Akurdi-Mohannagar-Kalbhornagar ward, several aspirants are already making their presence felt. This includes Javed Shaikh’s family members, his close associate Iklas Sayyed, and Zishan Pansare, son of NCP leader Azam Pansare. From BJP, aspirants for the seat include Raju Durge and Kailas Kute.
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