As several candidates from Pune filed their nomination papers for the forthcoming assembly elections on Thursday, the political parties seized the opportunity to turn these events into shows of strength.
October 4, Friday, is the last day of filing nominations.
Among those who filed their nominations on Thursday was state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil, who is contesting from Kothrud seat. While the party’s decision to field Patil, an ‘outsider’ from Kolhapur, has led to much discontent, the party ensured that the nomination filing process sends the right message to party cadre. The BJP and Shiv Sena leaders who were reportedly upset about Patil’s nomination duly marked their attendance for the roadshow that preceded the filing of nomination papers.
Patil first offered prayers at Mhatoba temple in Kothrud and then garlanded a statue of Maratha king Shivaji, before kicking off his road show. Sitting Kothrud MLA Medha Kulkarni, who was denied the ticket, and fellow aspirant for the ticket, Murlidhar Mohol, were present for the roadshow.
Shiv Sena leader and former state minister Shashikant Sutar and former Sena legislator Chandrakant Mokate also participated in the road show that started from the Shivaji statue and ended at the Election Commission office near Garware College.
The Sena leaders’ participation is significant in the wake of reports that the party’s city unit was upset about being denied the chance to contest even a single seat from Pune.
Other candidates who put up a show of strength before filing their nominations were city BJP chief Madhuri Misal, the candidate from Parvati, Siddharth Shirole in Shivajinagar and Sunil Kamble in Pune Cantonment.
Not to be left behind, the Congress also organised a roadshow for the party’s city unit chief Ramesh Bagwe, who filed his nomination from Pune Cantonment seat.
He was accompanied by senior party leaders Mohan Joshi and Abhay Chhajed. Congress candidate Arvind Shinde filed his nomination for the Kasbapeth seat and Datta Bahirat filed it for Shivajinagar. NCP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Vandana Chavan accompanied the Congress candidates as they filed their nominations.
MNS candidates Kisshore Shinde from Kothrud and Vasant More from Hadapsar also submitted their nominations. The NCP is contesting four of the eight seats in Pune city, but its candidates are yet to file their nominations.