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Friday, May 20, 2022

It’s lull before the storm in Pimpri Chinchwad ahead of civic body polls

Large scale defection from the NCP to BJP had marked the 2017 civic poll and many of the sitting corporators of the BJP are from the Sharad Pawar led party.

Written by Partha Sarathi Biswas | Pune |
May 12, 2022 11:25:42 am
The cash-rich Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation was ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party before its term expired. (Representational image)

The continued suspense over the dates of the civic body elections has put a break to most of the political activities in Pimpri Chinchwad. Many hopefuls who had jumped into the fray have decided to hold back their activities, while many who were on the verge of changing parties have also opted to wait and watch.

The cash-rich Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) was ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) before its term expired. It was the first time the BJP has managed to wrestle the control of the corporation from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar had ruled the corporation for many years with his word being the last in decision making in the area.

Large scale defection from the NCP to BJP had marked the 2017 civic poll and many of the sitting corporators of the BJP are from the Sharad Pawar led party. Before the present impasse started many of those were said to have made a beeline for the NCP with four corporators resigning from their posts to join the party. For the BJP, trouble seems to be quite at hand as the working style of both the MLA—Mahesh Landge and Laxman Jagtap—came in for scrutiny. Jagtap, who had played an important role in the BJP’s win in the 2017 polls, has been inactive for a long time due to his health complications.

Landge, the two-term MLA from Bhosari, was earlier with the NCP before making the switch. The Bhosari strong man has a substantial following among the people, but his style of functioning has come in for questioning in the recent past. Ravi Landge, the BJP corporator who was the first to throw in his hat and join the NCP, was critical of his party’s leadership in the area.

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For the NCP, the formation of the MVA government has given a shot in the arms to regroup and capture back the civic body. While Sharad Pawar, the party supremo, has visited the PCMC twice, Ajit Pawar has been conspicuous by his absence. The party in recent times have become increasingly vocal about issues like inflation.

However, given the rapidly changing political scenario, there has been a lull in the civic body. Most candidates who were active have suddenly become silent as most have decided to go on the wait and watch policy. Confusion about when the elections are going to be held or ward formation has put a dampener for many. Political observers say the momentum will catch up only when things become more clear.

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