After Pune and Baramati vote Tuesday, all action will shift to the neighbouring two constituencies of Pune district — Maval and Shirur — where campaigning will end on April 27. The two constituencies go to polls on April 29.
Parth Pawar, the son of Ajit Pawar, is contesting against MP Shrirang Barne of the Shiv Sena in Maval, while three-time sitting MP Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil of the Shiv Sena is taking on actor Amol Kolhe of NCP in Shirur.
After polling takes place in Baramati, the entire Pawar family is likely to start campaigning in Maval. The NCP has lined up rallies by its chief, Sharad Pawar, NCP leader and Parth’s father Ajit Pawar, and aunt and Baramati candidate Supriya Sule. Parth’s mother, Sunetra, has been campaigning hard in Maval. Sharad and Ajit Pawar will also hold rallies for the party’s Shirur candidate. “There will be a slew of rallies this week. Our top leaders will hold rallies across the constituency,” said NCP leader Yogesh Behl. Click here for more election news
The Shiv Sena, on the other hand, will hold rallies led by party chief Uddhav Thackeray and youth wing chief Aaditya Thackeray. In 2009 and 2014, Uddhav held rallies in Chakan on the last day of campaigning in Shirur. His rallies had drawn massive crowds, which, Sena claims, ultimately led to Adhalrao’s victory. A senior Shiv Sena leader said, “Aaditya Thackeray will hold a rally in Pimpri-Chinchwad on Wednesday while our party chief’s rally will be held in Maval and Shirur on April 25,” he said, adding that other leaders like Sanjay Raut and Gulabrao Patil will also hold rallies. The Sena, however, said Uddhav Thackeray is unlikely to hold rallies on the last day of campaigning in Chakan.
Adhalrao has been winning the seat with a comfortable margin. He won the seat in 2014 with a margin of more than three lakh votes.
The NCP has always struggled to find a candidate for Shirur. This time, though, it has roped in actor Amol Kolhe, who is popular in Maharashtrian homes as he is playing the lead character in the TV serial ‘Swarajya Rakshak Sambhaji’. The serial has been objected to by some NCP leaders, but district collector and returning officer Naval Kishore Ram have ruled that the serial does not violate the model code of conduct.
Of the six constituencies in Maval Lok Sabha seat, two are in Pimpri-Chinchwad, one in Maval taluka and three in Raigad districts. The candidates and party leaders have been flitting from Pune to Raigad and back — both Barne and Parth are from Pune. The NCP is relying on its alliance with Peasants and Workers Party, which has a strong base in the three assembly constituencies of Raigad district. The Sena is relying on the alliance strength in the three constituencies. The BJP rules the Panvel Municipal Corporation as well as the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.