Updated: December 12, 2021 7:46:30 am
With the civic election fast approaching, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena seem to be inching closer to striking a pre-poll alliance in the industrial city of Pimpri-Chinchwad. The Congress, which has already announced its intention to contest on its own, is unlikely to join hands although the three parties are constituents of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in the state.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Shiv Sena MP Shrirang Barne Saturday said, “Although a final decision on the alliance will be taken by the party leadership, I can say we are positive about such an alliance.”
Barne’s reaction comes a day after NCP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar expressed the possibility of his party joining hands with Shiv Sena for the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) polls due in February 2022.
“Shiv Sena is ready to tie up with NCP for the PCMC polls. Therefore, the NCP has also made up its mind to go with Shiv Sena,” Pawar had said while addressing party workers at Gurav Pimple area of Pimpri-Chinchwad on Friday.
However, in the same breath, setting the tone for the alliance talks, Pawar added, “Those who wish to join hands with NCP should take into consideration our strength in Pimpri-Chinchwad before holding seat-sharing talks.”
In the 2017 election, Shiv Sena managed to win only nine seats while NCP currently has 46 corporators. Congress, which had ruled Pimpri-Chinchwad for three terms, had drawn a blank with all its candidates defeated by big margins.
Pawar said there is confusion among party workers regarding ticket allocation. “Party workers are wondering since MVA is in place in the state, how will the ticket distribution take effect in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Since Congress has decided to contest on its own, the issue of taking them along does not arise. As for Shiv Sena, it seems to be keen for an alliance with NCP…Defeating BJP in the civic polls is our main objective,” he said.
Pawar’s sentiment of defeating BJP was also echoed by Sena leaders present in Pimpri-Chinchwad on Thursday.
“BJP had won the 2017 PCMC election in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. After coming to power, they showed their real face. Corruption during the BJP’s regime in PCMC has reached its peak. The Sena is determined to bring down the BJP in Pimpri-Chinchwad,” said Sena district coordinator Sachin Ahir after meeting Municipal Commissioner Rajesh Patil.
A delegation of Sena leaders led by Ahir met the commissioner and sought a thorough investigation into the allegations of corruption made by their party. Shiv Sena Pimpri-Chinchwad president Sachin Bhosale, women’s wing chief Urmila Kalbhor, PCMC house leader Rahul Kalate, former MLA Gautam Chabukswar, former Pimpri-Chinchwad unit chief Yogesh Babar and corporator Amit Gawde were a part of the delegation.
Ahir said, “People in Thane-Mumbai have full faith in Sena’s capability to change the face of the cities. Shiv Sena will fight the election on the development plank and expose corruption under BJP.”
Cornering the saffron party on the same lines, Pawar said, “Corruption has been the hallmark of the BJP rule in PCMC. The party is more focussed on giving tenders to people it favours. For the first time in the history of PCMC a standing committee chairman was arrested for taking bribes and the chairman is a BJP corporator. The incident has tarnished the image of Pimpri-Chinchwad.”
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