In Pimpri-Chinchwad, the NCP does not need any support to prop up its regime at the PCMC as it enjoys a brute majority. However, NCP leaders say if there is a tie up at the state level, they will have no choice but to “tag” BJP along.
“We do not need BJP support in the PCMC as we have over 80 corporators and BJP has only three. But if there is an arrangement at the state level, we will take BJP with us in the PCMC,” said NCP leader Yogesh Behl, who is considered as the right hand man of Ajit Pawar.
The BJP, however, says it is not interested in joining hands with the NCP as it was preparing to fight the party in the next civic elections.
BJP leader Eknath Pawar, who lost the Assembly election, said there are at least 40 corporators from the NCP who are ready to join the BJP. ‘
“But we do not want to encourage cross-overs,” he said.
Stressing that they will not have any truck with the NCP at the PCMC-level, Pawar said, “BJP has started preparations for the next civic elections, which are two years away. We are analysing the recent Assembly elections vis-a-vis the number of votes polled in each booth, the areas where we did well and the areas where we need to work hard. We have started the process of identifying candidates who will contest the elections on BJP ticket,” he said.
The NCP also denied that two MLAs, one from the BJP and the other an Independent, would be calling shots in the PCMC. “They are no more with us. Laxman Jagtap has joined the BJP and we have complained to the divisional commissioner regarding Mahesh Landge’s disqualification as a corporator under Anti-Defection Law,” said Behl.
While Jagtap, who was with the NCP earlier, won the Assembly election on a BJP ticket, Mahesh Landge, who was elected as standing committee chairman a couple of months ago as NCP corporator, won the election as an Independent. Since both were closely associated with the NCP in all these years, they have good support among NCP corporators. In fact, several NCP corporators had openly campaigned for Landge in Bhosari and for Jagtap in Chinchwad.
Behl, however, underplayed the support enjoyed by the two MLAs in the NCP. “Only two corporators supported Landge in Bhosari and four-five were with Jagtap,” he said.