On Tuesday,when 46-year-old Mohini Lande takes up the mayoral responsibility in Pimpri-Chinchwad,it would be the first such instance in the jurisdiction of Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations where first the husband and then the wife were crowned the mayor.
Vilas Lande,who is currently the Bhosari MLA,was appointed as Pimpri-Chinchwad mayor in 1993. Now his wife,Mohini Lande will become the 22nd mayor of the industrial town. The Kadams were the other family in Pimpri-Chinchwad whose two members donned the mayoral crown. Mangala Kadam became the mayor in 2005. Her brother-in-law Tatya Kadam was the mayor in 1989. Bhiku Waghere and his son Sanjog Waghere too were mayors.
Mohini and Vilas Lande are the first couple from PCMC area to become mayors. This is a unique record, said Mangala Kadam,who had created history by attending as many as 6,000 functions during her two-and-a-half year tenure. I dont remember any couple in PMC becoming mayors in past two decades or so, said Vandana Chavan,former mayor of Pune city.
Mohini Landes becoming mayor also means that Bhosari will get the mayoral post after nearly 20 years. It has taken two decades for Bhosari to get justice, says Vilas,who has been elected twice as MLA from Bhosari.
A Class IX drop-out,Mohini Lande has been a three-time corporator of PCMC. This time,she defeated her nearest rival with a margin of over 2,500 votes from the Sandvik Colony ward. A mother,a mother-in-law,a campaigner for her husband,a corporator and now a mayor,Mohini Lande,despite hailing from a political family,has been a reluctant politician.
I contested civic elections for the first time because the Bhosari ward from where my husband contested had been reserved for women, she says. Then for two terms,I did not seek any civic posts.
She is emphatic that her husband inspired her to make it big in politics. Without his support,I wouldnt have made it this far, says Mohini,whose elder daughter is married while her son is in college. Her parents had been sarpanches in Khadakwasla area. Though politics is in my blood,I was never keen to join it, says Mohini,but once you do,you dont want to get out of it.