As politicians and citizens alike tried to grasp late-night developments pertaining to state government formation, the mood among NCP and BJP leaders in the city was, understandably, starkly different. While leaders of the NCP’s city unit admitted that they were confused about former district guardian minister Ajit Pawar’s decision to join hands with the BJP, they refused to comment any further.
At the BJP office in Pune’s Shivajinagar, however, it was time to celebrate the newly-formed BJP government, led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. BJP’s Pune unit chief Madhuri Misal, newly-elected PMC mayor Murlidhar Mohol and other senior leaders were seen at the party office. Some leaders and party workers danced to the tunes of
Bollywood songs and raised slogans congratulating Fadnavis on his second term as chief minister. In the recent Assembly elections, the NCP had regained its hold in Pune district by winning 10 of the 21 seats, including two seats in the city which they wrested from the BJP.
NCP MLAs from Pune, Chetan Tupe and Sunil Tingre, refused to comment on the situation. Both legislators attended the meeting convened by NCP chief Sharad Pawar earlier in the day to discuss the situation with senior party leaders and legislators. NCP corporators in the city, meanwhile, said they were expecting a government formed by the NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena, and were shocked at Ajit Pawar’s decision.
“Local party leaders of NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena had already started coming together… Sena corporators had voted for NCP candidates in the mayoral elections held in PMC and PCMC on Friday,” said an NCP leader.