Not to be outdone by the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) that announced its Pune Lok Sabha candidate on Wednesday,the Samajwadi Party (SP) is gearing up to make an entry into the region for the first time. The hunt for an SP candidate is understood to be centred around ex-servicemen,an effort to cash in on the presence of around 1.5 lakh retired defence personnel in the city.
Senior party leaders have urged the city unit to look for an able candidate from among the ex-servicemen so that this large vote bank can be captured. The SP is keen to contest the Pune Lok Sabha seat and will soon announce its candidate, city SP chief Anees Ahmed said.
The party has been for some time working hard to get the ex-servicemen in the city on its platform,he said,adding,The ex-servicemen community in the city has people from all over the country cutting across regional and religious divides. This can contribute in strengthening the party that has a strong following from the Dalit and Muslim communities, Ahmed said.
He said there is a demand from party workers to give the Pune ticket to someone from the Dalit or the Muslim community,but a final decision was yet to be taken.
Meanwhile,the BSPs attempt at social engineering by making D S Kulkarni,a Brahmin,its candidate has stumped the party think-tank to some extent. According to political analysts,the eagerness being shown by the SP to contest the polls in Maharasthtra needs to be seen in the context of arch-rival BSPs attempts to make inroads in the state.
The SP has been waiting for the Congress-NCP alliance to accommodate it with three seats in the state South Mumbai,Bhiwandi and Malegaon. This is unlikely to happen. So the party is preparing to contest in 15 seats across the state,Pune being one of them he said.