Disturbed equations between former allies at the state level has begin to show its impact on the politics in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).
At present, the NCP is in power in the civic body with the Congress as its alliance partner. The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiv Sena are in the Opposition. The relations between the NCP and the Congress got strained at the state level with both parties contesting independently in the Assembly elections and later the NCP pledging support to the BJP government.
The ripple effect of the changing political equation was first noticed when Mayor Dattatraya Dhankwade of NCP recently announced that BRTS on Nagar Road and Alandi Road would be launched on March 1 after getting the Intelligent Traffic Management System installed with civic funds, the move which was opposed by the Congress, the ruling alliance partner.
“The Centre should fund the traffic management system as the project is under JNNURM scheme. We will not allow the PMC to spend civic funds for the purpose. BJP leaders should make efforts to secure funds from the Centre,” said Congress leader Arvind Shinde.
NCP leader Subhash Jagtap had also said that the civic body had no problem in spending money for the traffic management system and that the BRTS should not be unnecessarily delayed.
BJP leaders said they would support the NCP move.
“The NCP is the main ruling party and is responsible for the implementation of the project. If the party is working for development, the BJP will support its effort,” said a BJP leader.
On the other hand, the Shiv Sena is gearing up to take on the NCP for its failure in resolving civic issues.
“The problems of the city are not being addressed. The traffic and garbage processing issues have still not been resolved. Since the BJP is in power in the state, all its eight MLAs and the MP from the city should get the necessary approvals from the government,” said a Sena leader.
Interestingly, the NCP had worked up an alliance with the Shiv Sena and the BJP after the 2007 civic polls to keep the Congress out of power.
However, the NCP had to join hands with Congress in 2009 as both had pre-poll alliance for the 2009 Assembly elections.