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Come Sunday, these ‘dark horses’ may rise in Maharashtra

The lesser-known candidates of all eight constituencies likely to take advantage of the breakup of BJP-Sena & Cong-NCP alliances.

Written by Ajay Khape | Pune | Updated: October 17, 2014 8:16:07 am

After gruelling field work for the Assembly elections, it was a day of calculations for party workers on the basis of voter turnout in the eight seats in the city. Come October 19, there are likely to be many dark horses rising to take advantage of the fight between the two “so-called” main contenders.

The political scenario differs in all the Assembly segments with unpredictable outcome. “The fight in all the eight seats is so close that those considered to be the main contenders might be left behind by dark horses, which are there in all the constituencies,” said political experts.

In Vadgaonsheri, sitting NCP legislator Bapu Pathare was challenged by BJP candidate Jagdish Mullick, while banking on the Modi wave. However, Shiv Sena candidate Sunil Tingre is likely to emerge a dark horse in the fight on the basis of the network of his followers in the constituency.

Similarly, the traditional fight in Shivajingar Assembly segment has been between the Congress and BJP. Sitting Congress legislator Vinayak Nimhan was taken on by senior BJP leader Vijay Kale, but NCP candidate Anil Bhosale is likely to take advantage of the situation arising due to the division of votes of Congress and BJP.

For Pune Cantonment Assembly segment, sitting Congress legislator Ramesh Bagawe was considered the safest of sitting legislators to retain the seat but the challenge posed by BJP leader Dilip Kamble made him put in extra effort. Poor turnout in the area has raised concerns among both the parties but has raised hopes of Shiv Sena candidate Parshuram Wadekar.

The Parvati Assembly segment saw a fierce contest between sitting BJP legislator Madhuri Misal and city Congress chief Abhay Chhajed. However, in the contest, NCP candidate Subhash Jagtap sees a chance to make it to the state Assembly.

In the past, the Kothrud segment had been a bastion of Shiv Sena-BJP alliance, but the break up is likely to divide votes with BJP candidate Medha Kulkarni posing a challenge to sitting Sena legislator Chandrakant Mokate. This has raised the hopes of NCP candidate Baburao Chandere, who is banking on the rural population.

The voters of Kasbapeth Assembly segment had been supporting the BJP in the past elections with the Congress struggling to win the seat. Sitting legislator Girish Bapat was challenged by Congress candidate Rohit Tilak, but the entry of NCP candidate Deepak Mankar has made the contest interesting.

Though the Hadapsar segment saw the Shiv Sena win the previous election,  this time, sitting Sena legislator Mahadev Babar was busy countering the challenge of BJP candidate Yogesh Tilekar, while NCP candidate Chetan Tupe was banking on consolidating the vote bank that saw his father get elected to Lok Sabha from the city.

In Khadakwasla, the MNS won the previous election but the untimely death of its legislator led to BJP winning the seat in the byelection. Sitting BJP legislator Bhimrao Tapkir and MNS candidate Rajabhay Laygude have been pitted against each other to prove themselves. NCP candidate Dilip Barate had gone all out to make the most out of the division of votes of the BJP and MNS.

Counting to be over by noon on Oct 19, say election officials

With a decentralised counting procedure for the Assembly polls, the district administration has decided to hold the process at two places – Food Corporation of India godown and Balewadi stadium – on October 19.

The Election Commission has instructed officials to complete the counting process in three hours. “We will hurry up with the process and try to be done  by noon,’’ said deputy election officer Samiksha Chandrakar Gokule. The counting process will commence at 8 am, after the EVMs are taken out from the strong rooms at 7 am.

The first round will be of the postal ballots, followed by regular voting. At the Food Corporation of India, the counting process will be held for Vadgaonsheri, Kasba Peth, Shivajinagar, Parvati, Pune Cantonment and Hadapsar Assembly constituencies, while at Balewadi stadium, the counting process will be on for Kothrud, Khadakwasla, Pimpri, Chinchwad and Bhosari constituencies. For the rural segments, the counting process will be conducted at the tehsil offices.

“Micro observers, supervisors and counting personnel will be designated at each constituency and the respective returning officers will be incharge of the counting process,” said Gokule. (ENS)

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