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With the Congress withdrawing its candidate from the fray at the last minute,the ruling NCP managed to get its candidate Chanchala Kodre elected as mayor of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) by defeating Shiv Sena candidate Sonam Zende.
The election for the post was necessitated after Vaishali Bankar stepped down as per the party arrangement to accommodate two corporators on the post in the 30-month term. Bankar completed 17 months in office and Kodre would be the mayor for the next 13 months.
Kodre,who represents the Mundhwa area,is a first-time corporator but was preferred over other aspirants on the grounds of his family being in politics for long.
Kodre is daughter-in-law of former corporator Kailas Kodre. The same criteria was applied while selecting Bankar as she too was daughter-in-law of former corporator Bankar. Kodre was denied the post in 2012 and was assured of it later on.
The re-election process was action packed as the Congress too had fielded its candidate saying the NCP had not stuck to the promise of not contesting the recently held civic bypoll. However,Congress candidate Laxmi Ghodke withdrew at the last minute .
In the 152-member general body,Kodre got 83 votes of the NCP,the Congress and RPI (A) while Zende got 41 votes of Shiv Sena and BJP corporators. MNS abstained the poll to distance itself from Sena-BJP combine. The NCP to ensure a win for its candidate had issued a whip.
Congress leader Arvind Shinde said the decision to withdraw party candidate from the election was to ensure that there is no problem for the NCP. The state party leaders asked us to withdraw the candidate. They didnt cooperate with us in the recent bypoll but we dont want them to suffer because of us. The ruling party will hopefully not take us for granted henceforth, he said.
Independent corporator Ashwini Kadam,who have been supporting NCP,too was unhappy. I am disappointed and it would be difficult for me to convince my voters who expected justice for me after the NCP did not give me election ticket in 2012. I am told that the decision was taken by NCP chief Sharad Pawar. I am voting for Kodre only to respect his decision, she said.
Kodre said her family has been in politics for the last 60 years. It was the dream of my father-in-law to see someone from the family to be the mayor. I am fortunate to fulfill his dream thanks to the contribution of her family to politics, she said.
For Dy Mayor post,6 corporators seek Cong candidature
Six aspirants have staked claim for the Congress nomination for the post of PMC deputy mayor. Deepak Mankar had resigned on the advice of state Congress leaders. Like the NCP,the Congress too had decided to give chance to one more corporator before the 30-month term ends.
Six Congress corporators Ulhas Bagul,Bandu Gaikwad,Mukari Algude,Milind Kachi,Satish Londhe and Kailas Gaikwad have sought party candidature for the post. The last day to file nomination is Friday and the election will be held on September 10.