December 16, 2021 12:54:59 pm
On Sunday (December 19), Union Home Minister Amit Shah will lay the foundation stone of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji’s statue within the headquarters of Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and unveil the bust of Babasaheb Ambedkar at the entrance of the newly-constructed civic building.
Amit Shah was supposed to visit the PMC building on November 26 but that visit was postponed.
Amit Shah’s visit is being projected by the BJP’s local unit as an effort to boost the morale of party workers ahead of the PMC elections next year. The BJP, which won the PMC elections for the first time in 2017, faces a tough challenge from Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) — the alliance of Shiv Sena, the NCP and Congress — as it tries to stay in power.
Union minister Ramdas Athawale, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and former chief minister Devendra Fadanavis have also been invited along with elected representatives representing the city in the state assembly and Parliament. “The Maratha king and Ambedkar are inspirations for all. Their statues in the main building premises would inspire many visiting the civic headquarters,” said mayor Murlidhar Mohol.
Shah is likely to address party workers at Ganesh Krida Manch later on Sunday.
“Amit Shah’s visit is an indication that the BJP is going to put in all efforts to contest the forthcoming PMC elections. The BJP’s victory was ensured wherever the Union minister had gone ahead of elections,” BJP leader Ganesh Bidkar had said after the confirmation of Shah’s visit to the PMC.
City BJP chief Jagdish Mulik said that it would be the first visit of Shah to the city after taking over as the Union home minister and thus it would be significant.
The city unit of the BJP faces a stiff challenge from the MVA, mainly the NCP led by deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, in the upcoming elections. The five-year term of the general body of the PMC comes to an end on February 15, exactly three months from now.
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