AS 35,000 voters of Dehu Cantonment Board (DCB) vote on Sunday, observers say the fight would be mostly between candidates of established political parties and independents. All political parties are plagued by dissent and many candidates are rebels fighting official candidates of their own parties.
Along with Khadki and Pune, DCB will vote on January 11 and a fierce competition is expected from all the three political parties. The outgoing board had Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) joining hands, but this elections all the parties are fighting alone. Congress had 2 councillors, NCP had four and BJP had a lone councillor in the dissolved house. DCB comes under Maval constituency which has been a stronghold of the BJP. The party controls Panchayat Samiti as well as many gram panchayats of Maval. The cantonment has more than 35,000 voters.
Development is the major poll issue. There are open drains in many parts of Dehu cantonment. The area has seen a real estate boom while slums and unauthorised quarters are major issues in other parts. Unlike Pune and Khadki, the geographical boundary of DCB is large with an amalgamation of rural and urban areas.
There are 44 booths and around 250 polling staff who would be on duty on Sunday. The counting of votes will be on Monday. What has puzzled observers is that all wards have seen a large number of relatively lightweight candidates contesting on party tickets. This has led to a rise in strong rebel candidates likely to play the spoilsport.