Failing to bag a single seat in the previous assembly elections from the city, the Shiv Sena unit of Pune is gearing up to take on the BJP in the upcoming Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) elections for which it would be holding a three-day camp for party leaders at Solshi village near Wai.
“This camp is to enthuse cadres for the forthcoming PMC polls in 2017. There would be extensive discussion in the three-day camp which would be inaugurated by party executive president Uddhav Thackeray,” said Vinayak Nimhan, city Sena chief.
Nimhan said that ways to strengthen the party base and handle issues related to the public would be discussed at length to bring the slogan of ‘next Mayor of Shiv Sena’ into reality.
“It would also help in energising party workers. The camp would also have discussions on policies of Union and state governments along with their evaluation,” he added.
According to another senior Sena leader, “The BJP was able to win all the eight assembly seats including the two retained by Sena legislators. This has irked the party leadership and it was decided to be get aggressive in the city to strengthen the party base and scuttle the BJP.”
On the other hand, the BJP on record refuses to attach any importance to the Sena’s efforts. Nimhan and BJP leader Girish Bapat have been at loggerheads over various issues related to the city. The Sena has been accusing the BJP of ignoring civic issues and failing to fulfill the assurances given to the public during elections. “We are not paying attention to the noise created by Sena leaders in the city. Our relation with the top Sena leadership is cordial. The BJP has shown its increased strength in the city. There is no doubt over the BJP giving its best performance in the next civic polls. We are prepared for it,” Bapat said. Going by the present strength of representatives in the PMC, the Shiv Sena is at the bottom. The NCP is the leading party in the civic body followed by the Congress, MNS and BJP.