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Poll results will point to civic body battle ahead

In Pune city,the Assembly poll results on Thursday would indicate about the political combine that would get to control the Pune Municipal Corporation.

Written by Ajay Khape | Pune |
October 21, 2009 12:24:01 am

In Pune city,the Assembly poll results on Thursday would indicate about the political combine that would get to control the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC).

At present,the NCP holds power in the civic body while Congress is the main Opposition party. This,even as the two parties contested Assembly polls as allies in four seats each. The post of mayor and chairman of standing committee is held by the NCP while the leader of Opposition is from the Congress. The post came to Congress after a year-long battle in the Bombay High Court against the decision of the mayor — an NCP corporator — to appoint a BJP corporator as the leader of Opposition,despite the party,along with Shiv Sena supporting NCP for the mayor’s post.

The NCP had joined hands with Shiv Sena and BJP to come to power after the civic polls in 2007. The arrangement ensured the NCP got the post of mayor while Shiv Sena got the post of deputy mayor.

The alliance was in force for around two-and-a-half years,even during Lok Sabha polls; the marriage of convenience was called off just before the Assembly polls.

Till 2007,the Congress and NCP had jointly shared power in the civic body. The Congress had three of the six MLAs (before delimitation) from the city as against one each from NCP,Shiv Sena and BJP. In the civic polls,the NCP emerged as the single largest party in the PMC and have since then been claiming charge over city politics.

The recent lunch diplomacy meeting held by Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi for his long time adversary and NCP leader Ajit Pawar was the beginning of the thaw.

“The political equations in the city will be clear only after the results of Assembly polls are announced. It will have an immediate impact in the civic body as elections to the post of mayor and deputy mayor — due in September— will be held next month,” an NCP corporator said.

Leader of Opposition in the PMC and Congress leader Ulhas Bagul said,“There were problems from both sides during Assembly polls. The Congress and NCP leaders by burying their differences have paved the way for the alliance of the two parties in the civic body. However,it will be finally sealed after power sharing arrangement is made by the two parties”.

The decision to surrender the post of leader of Opposition will be taken by the party,he said.

The ruling alliance will get to head the standing committee,city improvement committee,legal committee,women and child development committee along with the post of mayor and deputy mayor — now these posts will have to be shared by the NCP and Congress.

The Shiv Sena-BJP combine is not keen to talk about what is in store for the city in terms of political developments at the civic body level.

“We are confident of forming a government at the state level. We have learnt lessons from the past experiences of alliance at the local level and would prefer to sit in the Opposition,” a Sena corporator said.

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