The Pune Municipal Corporation, which is not alien to political surprises Tuesday witnessed a new equation emerging on its corridors. The NCP and MNS extended support to each other in the election of the heads of several civic panels. A shaken ruling partner, the Congress, wasted no time in urging its state unit to allow the city unit to officially break ties with the NCP and work as the opposition party. The NCP and MNS have an alliance in the Nashik Municipal Corporation.
The last day for filing of nomination papers for elections to the chairpersons’ post of four civic panels was on Tuesday. NCP has decided to contest for chairperson of the Legal Committee and the Sports Committee. MNS is putting up candidates for the post of chairpersons of the City Improvement Committee (CIC) and the Women and Child Welfare Committee.
As far as the other panels are concerned, MNS has fielded candidates for two more civic panels, and the NCP is contesting the post of deputy chairperson. The NCP and Congress had an alliance in the civic body and had followed a similar pattern for sharing of powers in the civic body. The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is contesting for the posts as an alliance. The Congress has not fielded any candidate.
For the CIC, MNS corporator Rupali Patil Thombre has filed the nomination papers for the post of chairperson. NCP corporator Pradeep Gaikwad would contest for the post of vice-chairperson. BJP-Sena alliance candidate Manjusha Nagpure of the BJP and Yogesh Mokate of Sena would contest for the post of chairperson and vice-chairperson respectively.
The Legal Committee would witness a contest between NCP corporator Sunil Gogale and BJP corporator Pratima Dhamale while MNS corporator Meena Pardeshi and Nita Manjalkar of BJP would fight for the vice-chairperson post.
For the Women and Child Welfare Committee, MNS candidate Archana Kamble will take on Sangeeta Thosar of the BJP for the chairperson’s post while Sushma Nimhan of the NCP and Smita Vaste of the BJP are contenders for the vice-chairperson’s post. The Sports Committee would see the NCP corporator Mahendra Pathare and Sena corporator Sonam Zende fighting for the post of chairperson.
Agitated over the NCP joining hands with the MNS, Congress leader Arvind Shinde said the party corporators have decided to part ways with NCP with whom it had shared power for long. “We cannot tolerate this humiliating treatment. Congress corporators have sent a letter to state unit chief Ashok Chavan to allow them to sever ties with NCP at the local level,” said Shinde.
Shinde said that the NCP and the MNS always had a hidden alliance but only now it has come out in public. “The NCP has been ensuring that more budgetary provision should be made in the electoral ward of MNS corporators while the least in wards represented by Congress corporator. It had promised the post of chairperson of the standing committee to Congress while forging an alliance but failed to abide by it,” Shinde alleged.
The Congress is ready to be in the opposition and take on the NCP-MNS alliance in the PMC, he said adding the Congress working independently would help in strengthening itself ahead of the next civic polls two years away.
NCP leader Subhash Jagtap said the Congress was responsible for the situation. “The Congress started it all during the election for the post of PMPML director. They voted against NCP and enabled Shiv Sena corporator to get elected,” he said, adding the Congress should have waited for the standing committee chairperson post for next year but it did not and NCP had no option than joining hands with MNS, “as they supported our candidate during the standing committee elections.”
A leader from the BJP-Sena said, “The real face of MNS has come out. They always supported NCP whenever the ruling party was caught in a problem. They abstained from voting instead of opposing the NCP in the last three years but their hidden alliance has now come out in the open,” said BJP leader Ganesh Bidkar and Sena leader Ashok Harnaval. They said the saffron alliance is the true opposition in PMC as all other parties have been involved in sharing power in the civic body.