On Saturday, Parth Pawar, son of NCP leader Ajit Pawar, attended his first major function in Pimpri-Chinchwad, which created quite a buzz in the industrial city, following speculation that he might be fielded from Maval Lok Sabha constituency, the stronghold of the Shiv Sena.
At a job fair organised by NCP corporator Nana Kate in Sangvi, Parth occupied the stage along with this father. He was felicitated during the occasion.
NCP president Sanjog Waghere, who is also an aspirant from Maval seat, said there was no discussion about the possibility of Parth contesting from Maval. “I have no clue, the party will take a decision about it,” he said.
NCP leaders said Parth has toured parts of Maval like Panvel and Uran and had met farmers to know their problems. “He has been active in the constituency. But Saturday programme was the first major function that he had attended in Pimpri-Chinchwad,” said an NCP leader.
NCP has never won Maval seat. The Shiv Sena has always held an upper hand in Maval. In the last elections, Sena’s Shrirang Barne had defeated Independent candidate Laxman Jagtap by a huge margin. Barne has already been given a green signal by the Sena, while Jagtap too has put up huge posters of himself. “We are awaiting a green signal from the party,” said Jagtap’s close aide, Sarang Kamtekar. On the other hand, Barne said, “I am not worried about my rivals…my work speaks for itself.”
Like the Maval seat, where political heat is soaring, it is no different in the three other Pune seats, where aspirants and sitting MPs seem to be right upfront.
In the Shirur constituency, Bhosari MLA Mahesh Landge is going to town organising functions and events. “We just held a cyclathon where there was a participation of 4,000 youngsters,” said Kartik Landge, brother and campaign manager of Mahesh. The Landge camp is also preparing to hold “Indryani-thadi” for women’s self-help group. “It will be a mega event,” he said. All over Bhosari, Nigdi, Nehrunagar, Masulkar Colony, Sambhajinagar, Chikhli, huge posters of Mahesh as the “future MP” have sprung up in the last few days.
If Mahesh is fielded from Shirur by the BJP, he will contest against the three-time sitting MP Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil.
When asked why his posters and banners are missing, Adhalrao said, “I don’t have to do all this…My voters know my work.”
Adhalrao said Mahesh was advertising himself for the Assembly elections and not the Lok Sabha polls. When asked Adhalrao’s contention, Kartik said, “Till the CM clears the air about alliance, we will not say anything against anybody (Adhalrao).”
In Baramati Lok Sabha constituency, sitting MP Supriya Sule is holding “gaon daura” (village tour). She has stepped up her tours. “The MP has been touring villages in the entire Baramati constituency. When villagers complained to her about inadequacies, she immediately called up the officers concerned,” said her office. In 2014 elections, Mahadeo Jankar of Rashtriya Samaj Paksh had given her tough time. This time, speculation is rife about RSP fielding MLA Subhash Kul’s wife’s to take on Sule. “The party will take final decision,” said Subash Kul, refusing to confirm or deny about his wife contesting from Baramati.
In Pune city seat, while the Congress and NCP are locked over who will contest the seat, the BJP is in a state of confusion after actor Madhuri Dixit’s name cropped up out of nowhere. Earlier, Sanjay Kakade too had laid his claim. Similarly, District Guardian Minister Girish Bapat is also an aspirant. Sitting MP Anil Shirole is not being seen as aggressive and his posters and banners are missing from Pune’s skyline. His son Siddharth Shirole denied speculation that Shirole is sidestepping.