Updated: August 2, 2021 1:23:11 pm
Ahead of the civic elections in February 2022, the ruling BJP in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has launched ‘Mission 100+’ in a bid to retain the power which it won decisively five years ago. Not to be left behind, the opposition NCP said it was determined to make a comeback to power as it was hoping for “importing” 25 corporators from BJP to its fold. NCP said Parth Pawar, son of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, would be playing a key role in the upcoming civic polls.
In the 2017 elections, the BJP ousted NCP from power securing a landslide victory. BJP won a record 77 wards while the then ruling party NCP won only 36. This was the first time in over the four-decade-old history of PCMC that BJP came to power. The BJP and Shiv Sena had struggled to even reach the double-digit mark in civic elections since 1986 as Congress and NCP used to be the major parties.
“We have already launched our ‘Mission 100+’ in Pimpri-Chinchwad. As of now, we have 77 corporators in the House of 128. Five independents are also with us,” said BJP district general secretary Raju Durge.
Durge said as part of the preparations, they have appointed over 1300 booth leaders in all three assembly segments of Bhosari, Chinchwad and Pimpri. “Every booth has 500-700 voters. These booth leaders have to remain in constant touch with the voters in their respective areas. Each booth leader will have 10 workers under him,” he said.
Durge said party MLAs like Mahesh Landge and Laxman Jagtap, representing Bhosari and Chinchwad constituencies respectively, will be encouraging and motivating the booth workers. “They have been collectively allocated around 10 divisions,” he said.
Interestingly, top BJP leaders like Chandrakant Patil and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis would also be playing an active role in these elections to ensure that the party holds on to the civic throne.
“Both Patil and Fadnavis will be going around the industrial city, meeting party leaders, workers and booth leaders. This time, they would be actively involved and would infuse new energy and enthusiasm among the cadres,” he said.
MLA Mahesh Landge, who is also the Pimpri-Chinchwad unit city chief, said, “We are confident of making a comeback to power with a thumping majority. Like last time, this time also we will win but with more seats. Our mission is to have more than 100 corporators. Our confidence is based on the kind of development the party has ensured in the city,” he said.
Pimpri-Chinchwad NCP chief Sanjog Waghere NCP said, “BJP is now talking of ‘Mission 100+’. We have already done that long back and have been preparing the ground for returning to power as BJP has failed to live up to the expectations of the people,” he said.
Waghere said their confidence stems from the fact as many as 25 BJP corporators will join NCP before the civic elections. “These are our own people who had left the party during the last elections. They now want to return to their original party,” he said. Landge however underplayed the NCP claim. “Let them say whatever they want. BJP is united, strong and will again capture PCMC. We have no doubt about it,” he said.
Waghere, meanwhile, said Parth Parth was actively involved with NCP’s plans and strategies in Pimpri-Chinchwad. “He has been taking a keen interest in the party’s growth and its initiatives for the people. His role will be crucial during the elections. He has been taking feedback from us every day,” Waghere said.
Parth contested the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Maval Lok Sabha constituency and lost to Shrirang Barne of the Shiv Sena. However, since then, he has been active in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Recently he met municipal commissioner Rajesh Patil and urged him to take up the development works suggested by NCP corporators on priority. His meeting came against the backdrop of complaints by NCP that PCMC was ignoring development in their areas.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.