March 6, 2009 12:46:24 am
The Congress pulled out of the race for the coveted post of chairman of the standing committee of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC),allowing NCP corporator Nilesh Nikam to sail through on Thursday. Nikam has been serving as a corporator for the fourth consecutive time. This followed Congress corporator Mangala Mantris announcement of withdrawal at 11.45 am in the presence of district collector Chandrakant Dalvi.
Thanking senior party leaders and the Shiv Sena,the BJP and the Congress,Nikam said,After a long time,the standing committee chairman has been elected unopposed. Now,we will focus on key issues like traffic management,water supply and sewage treatment plants to minimise river pollution. For the citys development,we will keep aside political differences.
The Congress said it pulled out after a national-level decision between Congress and the NCP on a pre-election alliance.
By withdrawing the candidature of the Congress member,we have followed the coalition dharma. Now,it is up to the NCP to decide on the future of the Pune Pattern, said Ulhas Bagul,Congress leader at the PMC.
Congress corporator Rashid Shaikh said,It is good that a sincere person like Nikam is given an opportunity to be at the helm of affairs at the standing committee. Last month,the Congress had supported the NCP to snatch all budgetary powers from then chairman and Shiv Sena corporator Shyam Deshpande. This move had created a furore and the Sena had to fight to regain its authority.
Before Nikam,the only other standing committee chairman who won unopposed was Bagul in 1997. With Nikams appointment,the term of Sena corporator Deshpande,who had taken over from NCPs Bapu Pathare last year,has come to an end.
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