March 16, 2021 11:46:40 pm
Pune Deputy Mayor Saraswati Shendge submitted her resignation on Tuesday to Mayor Murlidhar Mohol as per the directions of the BJP, the ruling party in the Pune Municipal Corporation. The move has led to speculation about which political party would be given the opportunity to hold the post now.
The BJP’s alliance partner RPI(A) has staked claim for the post but the city unit of the BJP has not yet responded.
Former deputy mayor and senior RPI(A) leader Siddarth Dhende said his party has been demanding the post from the BJP for a long time. “We have urged the BJP to get RPI(A) leader Sunita Wadekar elected as the new deputy mayor. We are hopeful that the demand would be met,” he said.
City BJP chief Jagdish Mulick said that the party had asked Shendge to vacate the post so that someone else could be accomodated. When asked whether the BJP would accept the RPI(A)’s demand, he said, “I will get back to you”.
City RPI(A) leaders have asked their party chief and Union minister Ramdas Athawale to demand the post of deputy mayor of PMC from the ruling BJP. While five RPI(A) leaders were elected to the PMC in the previous civic poll, they had contested under the BJP party symbol.
As an alliance pact, the ruling BJP had appointed RPI(A) leaders as deputy mayor for the first half of the current five-year term. The RPI(A)’s demand for the post during the second half of the BJP-led alliance’s tenure was not met by the BJP, prompting RPI(A) leaders to warn that this would create problems in the next civic polls.
Earlier, state BJP chief Chandrakant Patil and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had held meetings with party corporators of PMC to prepare a strategy to take on the MVA, as well as to ensure that its sitting corporators do not join opposition parties ahead of the elections next year.
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