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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Chinchwad: Will BJP be game changer at this NCP stronghold?

In the last elections, it had 32 corporators out of the 42 who were elected from the Assembly section. The Congress had 6, Shiv Sena 4 and the BJP had only one corporator.

By: Express News Service | Pune | Published: January 13, 2017 3:02:23 am

THE Chinchwad assembly and the parliamentary constituency have always witnessed a fierce battle, especially between the NCP and the Shiv Sena. The contest has been on even during the Assembly elections, but the Shiv Sena has always stolen a march in parliamentary election. But in the civic elections, the NCP has maintained its supremacy for the last 10 years.

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In the last elections, it had 32 corporators out of the 42 who were elected from the Assembly section. The Congress had 6, Shiv Sena 4 and the BJP had only one corporator.

Things are looking completely different these elections as several sitting NCP corporators are joining BJP and the NCP looking on a weak ground. The morale among NCP rank and file is clearly down as the BJP led by Laxman Jagtap, MLA and president of party’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit, are going all-out to end the NCP supremacy in the area. “We will win maximum seats from Chinchwad area,” said Jagtap, who enjoys huge popularity in Sangvi, Pimple Gurav, Pimple Saudagar, Rahatni and Kalewadi areas.

Jagtap, who lives in Gurav Pimple area, had always won a decisive mandate from the area and therefore the BJP is banking heavily on him deliver maximum corporators in February elections. “Jagtap is credited with completely transforming the agrarian outlook of the area with a modern avatar by ushering in several development projects. The party wants to cash in on Jagtap’s image and the development he brought in,” said a BJP leader. MLA Laxman Jagtap’s two brothers are corporators from Chinchwad segment.

Sarang Kamtekar, general secretary of BJP, said of the 52 seats this time from Chinchwad, they expect at least 40 seats. “Unlike in the past when NCP reigned, this time, BJP will sweep election in the Chinchwad area,” he said.

NCP leader Yogesh Behl said the party has several strong leaders in Chinchwad assembly segment who have worked relentlessly for the people in their respective wards and there is no reason why they will not be selected from the areas. “Despite some corporators quitting NCP, we have several replacements for them,” he said.

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