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City’s cabinet hopes bleak but alive

With only three candidates of the Congress-NCP alliance getting elected from the city that has eight constituencies...

Written by Ajay Khape | Pune |
October 24, 2009 10:38:10 pm

With only three candidates of the Congress-NCP alliance getting elected from the city that has eight constituencies,chances of the city getting representation in the state cabinet appear bleak. Balasaheb Shivarkar of Congress,being perceived as a contender,has been defeated and likely candidate Chandrakant Chhajed was denied party ticket.

The lone name now doing the rounds is Ramesh Bagwe though there are some who do not rule themselves out of the reckoning like Vinayak Nimhan of Congress and NCP’s Bapu Pathare.

The city had failed to get any representation in the previous term of the Congress-NCP rule when both Chhajed and Shivarkar were re-elected MLAs. This setback for the city came after a fair run during 1999-2004 when Chhajed was minister of state for tourism and Shivarkar was minister for PWD,both in their first stint as legislators.

This double debut,attributed to the two factions in the Congress lobbying for representation in the ministry,had a negative fallout. In ensuing ministry,the city did not get any representation,though the Congress had three legislators from the city in 2004.

“It was made clear in the party circles before the polls that I was a strong contender for a berth if a Congress-led government came to power. I was the senior-most Congress leader from the city contesting and this might be a reason my defeat was ensured by my opponents in the party,” Shivarkar told The Indian Express.

Without naming anyone for his loss,he admitted that some quarters in the party were against him. “I had put all my efforts for the party candidate during LS polls,” Shivarkar said when pointed that there were allegations that he did not participate in campaign of city’s Congress candidate.

The other senior Congress leader,Chhajed,remained a non-starter as he was denied a ticket to accommodate Vinayak Nimhan,a staunch Narayan Rane supporter.

The defeat of Shivarkar has,however,raised hopes of Bagwe,as he has made it to the Assembly second time in a row. “I am the senior legislator of the party from the city and stand a good chance,” Bagawe said. The NCP has only one hopeful in Bapu Pathare.

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