WITH THE Lok Sabha elections nearing completion, political parties and leaders have turned their eye towards the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections in November. In the Assembly constituencies of Bhosari, Pimpri and Chinchwad, aspirants are making use of flex boards to make their presence felt.
Pimpri-Chinchwad has three Assembly constituencies of Pimpri, Chinchwad and Bhosari. In the 2014 Assembly elections, BJP candidate Laxman Jagtap was elected from Chinchwad while Shiv Sena’s Gautam Chabukswar was elected from the Pimpri reserved seat. In Bhosari, Independent MLA Mahesh Landge won a triangular contest and later joined the BJP.
While there is little doubt on who will be the BJP candidates from Chinchwad and Bhosari with Jagtap and Mahesh Landge as the frontrunners, the Pimpri Assembly seat will likely witness a tussle between the BJP and the Shiv Sena if they decide to form an alliance, like they did during the Lok Sabha polls.
While the Pimpri Assembly seat is with the Shiv Sena, BJP leaders have already started demanding that its candidate should contest from the seat. Corporator Seema Savale of the BJP has declared that she will be a candidate from Pimpri.
“I don’t know if we will have an alliance or not. But I am all set to contest from Pimpri. If I don’t get the party ticket, I will contest as an Independent,” she said.
Savale said she had started campaigning by interacting with people in different parts of Pimpri. “I have been in touch with the people in this area for more than 10 years now,” she said.
In Pimpri, former NCP MLA Anna Bansode too has started preparing for the polls with flex boards bearing his face springing up in the last few days. Chabukswar had defeated Bansode in the 2014 elections. “Bansode will certainly be fielded by the NCP from Pimpri. He has already started meeting people in the constituency,” said Satish Landge, a close associate.
In Bhosari, Mahesh Landge of the BJP has remained active and vocal. He had initially strongly opposed the candidature of Shivajirao Adhalrao-Patil from the Shirur Lok Sabha seat. But he later patched up with him and campaigned for him in return for support during the Assembly elections.
His brother Kartik said Mahesh will certainly seek a re-election from Bhosari. “We have been working hard for the development of Bhosari for the past five years. We have never let our guard down. Besides, we have been in constant touch with people,” he said.
Vilas Lande from the NCP, a close relative of Mahesh Landge, is also an aspirant from Bhosari. Lande was denied a Lok Sabha ticket from Shirur, but the NCP had promised him a ticket from Bhosari Assembly seat, from where he had lost in 2014. Other NCP aspirants from the seat include former mayor Mangala Kadam and Datta Sane, the Opposition leader of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation.
In Chinchwad, the BJP will field Jagtap. The NCP is looking for a strong candidate to take him on. Sanjog Waghere, president of the NCP unit of Pimpri-Chinchwad, Nana Kate, Bhausaheb Bhoir, Moreshwar Bhondve, Prashant Shitole and Mayur Kalate are the frontrunners. These leaders looked after the Lok Sabha campaign of Parth Pawar, who contested from Maval.
Chinchwad seat is part of the Maval Lok Sabha constituency. “Of course, I will be one of the aspirants,” Waghere said.