July 17, 2009 3:24:38 am
They are all gearing up for a step up in life. Around three dozen corporators of the total 144 in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC),cutting across party lines,are getting ready to contest the forthcoming assembly polls from the eight assembly segments in the city.
After the delimitation process,the number of assembly segments in Pune city has gone up from six to eight. Of these,Congress represents three while one each are from the NCP,the BJP and the Shiv Sena.
The success of the Congress in the Lok Sabha polls has resulted in maximum claims coming up from its corporators as many as 10 elected representatives are reportedly in the fray. The NCP too has a similar number of claimants for party tickets while at least seven corporators from the BJP,four each from the Shiv Sena and the MNS and one from the Republican Party of India want to go up the political ladder.
Those on the probable list include Mayor Rajlaxmi Bhosale of the NCP,Deputy Mayor Chandrakant Mokate of the Shiv Sena,Opposition leader Ulhas Bagul of the Congress,BJP leader Vikas Matkari,MNS leader Ravindra Dhangekar and Sena leader Shyam Deshpande.
There has not been change in the party candidature for long and if this continues unchanged then there is no chance for the corporators to grow further, said Bagul who has staked claim for the Parvati assembly segment.
The other Congress corporators seeking party ticket are city unit chief Abhay Chhajed,former mayor Kamal Vyavahare,Prasanna Jagtap,former mayor Rajani Tribhuvan,corporator Arun Dhimdhime,Virendra Kirad,Narayan Chavan,Chandu Kadam and even Deepak Mankar who is currently in magisterial custody in connection with alleged land grab cases.
The NCP,which shares power with the Shiv Sena and the BJP in the PMC,also has a sizeable number of corporators vying for party tickets. Other than the Mayor,the hopefuls include Chetan Tupe,party leader Anil Bhosale,Srickant Patil,former deputy mayor Dilip Barate,Vikas Dangat,Shailesh Charvad,Datta Dhankawade,Subhash Jagtap and Bapu Pathare.
The party has a stronghold in and around the city. The confidence of corporators has been high since the party emerged as the single largest party in the PMC,dislodging the Congress from power, Patil said.
Within the saffron alliance,the BJP is ahead as at least seven corporators are preparing to contest the assembly polls Vikas Matkari,Ujjwal Keskar,Bhimrao Tapkir,Madhuri Misal,Sunil Kamble,Bharat Vairage and Mukta Tilak.
There are many who are keen to fight the assembly polls after having served for long in the civic body, Keskar said. He said corporators from all political parties are keen to contest assembly polls as they want to prove their mettle at a higher level. The city MLAs from various parties have failed to deliver and it is high time opportunity be given to others. The voters are asking questions as to what the sitting legislators have delivered in the last five years.
From the Sena,there are four strong contenders,including Mokate,Deshpande,Mahadeo Babar and Sachin Bhagat. The MNS,which has seven corporators in the PMC,too has four contenders Dhangekar,Rajendra Endel,Kishore Shinde and Vasant More. Avinash Salve is the lone aspirant from the RPI at the moment.
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