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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Eye on civic polls, ruling BJP, Oppn NCP up the ante in Pimpri-Chinchwad

While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has launched “Mission 100 +”, opposition Nationalist Congress Party leaders said the party was determined to make a comeback in Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
Updated: August 2, 2021 7:12:36 am
Pimpri-chinchwad civic polls, Pimpri-chinchwad, BJP, NCPIn 2017 elections, the BJP had ousted the NCP from power, winning a record 77 wards. (File)

With barely a few months to go before the civic elections for Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation in February 2022, political parties are going all out to ensure their victory. While the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has launched “Mission 100 +”, opposition Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders said the party was determined to make a comeback to power in Pimpri-Chinchwad and was hoping to “import” 25 corporators from the BJP into its fold. Parth Pawar, son of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, would be playing a key role in the upcoming civic polls, the leaders added.

In 2017 elections, the BJP had ousted the NCP from power, winning a record 77 wards. The NCP secured only 36 wards. This was the first time in over four-decade-old history of PCMC that BJP had captured power in PCMC, which was initially helmed by the Congress. Later on, the NCP and Congress ruled the civic body in turns even as the BJP and the Shiv Sena struggled to even reach the double-digit mark since 1986.

“We have already launched our Mission-100 + in Pimpri-Chinchwad. As of now, we have 77 corporators in House 128. Five independents are also with us,” said BJP district general secretary Raju Durge.

Durge said as part of the election preparations, the party has appointed over 1,300 booth leaders in all three assembly segments of Bhosari, Chinchwad and Pimpri. “Every booth has 500-700 voters. These booth leaders have to remain in constant touch with the voters in their respective areas. Each booth leader will have 10 workers under him,” he said.

Durge said party MLAs like Mahesh Landge, who represents Bhosari assembly constituency, and Laxman Jagtap, who represents Chinchwad assembly constituency, will be assigned the task of encouraging and motivating the booth workers. “They have collectively been allocated around 10 prabhag (divisions),” he said.

Top BJP leaders like Chandrakant Patil and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis would also be playing active role in these elections to ensure the party continues holding the reins of the civic body.

“Both Patil and Fadnavis will be going around the industrial city, meeting party leaders, workers and booth leaders. This time, they would be actively involved and would infuse new energy and enthusiasm among the cadres,” said Durge.

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Landge, who is also the Pimpri-Chinchwad unit city chief, said, “We are confident of coming back to power with a thumping majority. We will win more seats than we did the last time. Our mission is to have more than 100 corporators. Our confidence is based on the kind of development the party has ensured in the city.”

Pimpri-Chinchwad NCP chief Sanjog Waghere, though said, it would be the NCP, and not the BJP, which will return to power in 2022. “BJP is now talking of Mission-100 +. We have already done that long back and have been preparing the ground for returning to power as BJP has failed to live up to the expectations of the people,” he said.

Waghere said as many as 25 BJP corporators are slated to join the NCP before the civic elections. “These are our own people who had left the party during the last elections. They now want to return to their original party,” he said.
To this, Langde said, “Let them say whatever they want. BJP is united, strong and will again capture PCMC. We have no doubt about it.”
Meanwhile, Waghere said Parth Pawar was actively involved in NCP’s plans and strategies in Pimpri-Chinchwad. “He has been taking keen interest in the party’s growth and its initiatives for the people. His role will be crucial during the elections. He has been taking feedback from us every day,” Waghere said.

Parth Pawar had contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Maval constituency; Pimpri-Chinchwad is a part of the seat. He had, however, lost to Shrirang Barne of the Shiv Sena. Since then, Parth has often been seen in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Recently he met Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil and urged him to take up the development works suggested by NCP corporators on priority. His meeting came in the backdrop of complaints by NCP corporators that development in their areas was being ignored by PCMC.

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