Incessant rainfall in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad on Saturday hit candidates’ efforts to make the most of the last day of Assembly election campaign. Many of them ended up holding roadshows and bike rallies amid the downpour.
The state will go to polls on Monday, October 21.
The downpour thwarted many planned election events. NCP leader Ajit Pawar was scheduled to hold a rally on Saturday morning in Hadapsar Assembly constituency but decided to cancel it due to the rain. He later participated in a roadshow for party candidate Chetan Tupe.
Tupe’s rival, BJP legislator Yogesh Tilekar, also took to the streets with party corporators and workers.
State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil, who is contesting from Kothrud Assembly seat, conducted a roadshow in the rain, along with local BJP and Shiv Sena leaders.
His opponent, MNS candidate Kishore Shinde, also held a roadshow, with Congress and NCP workers showing up in support.
City Mayor Mukta Tilak, a candidate from Kasba Assembly seat, held a roadshow in central Pune, which was attended by city MP Girish Bapat. She urged people to vote for her and continue to repose their faith in the BJP. Congress candidate Arvind Shinde and MNS candidate Ajay Shinde also held bike rallies to reach out to voters.
Other candidates who held roadshows included Congress leader Ramesh Bagawe, BJP leader Sunil Kamble (Pune Cantonment seat) and city BJP chief Madhuri Misal (Parvati seat), among others.
NCP candidate from Parvati, Ashwini Kadam, tried to connect to voters by holding a padyatra and a bike rally.
The Shivajinagar assembly seat saw BJP candidate Siddharth Shirole and Congress candidate Datta Bahirat urging voters to stand by them and turn out in large numbers on polling day.
In Pimpri-Chinchwad, NCP MP and actor Amol Kolhe made his presence felt. Though NCP does not have an official candidate in Chinchwad and Bhosari seats, it has lent support to Rahul Kalate, an independent candidate in Chinchwad, and sponsored the candidature of Vilas Lande in Bhosari.
Kolhe held rallies for both candidates in the pouring rain, but most local residents stayed away.
“It rained continuously and residents couldn’t come out in large numbers,” said Kartik Landge, brother of Bhosari candidate Mahesh Landge.
19, 500 police, Home Guard personnel to guard Pune district on polling day
As many as 19,500 police and Home Guard personnel will be deployed for the smooth conduct of Assembly elections in the three police jurisdictions in Pune district — Pune City, Pune Rural and Pimpri Chinchwad — which together cover the 21 constituencies.
While Pune City Police has chalked out a deployment plan for 10,000 uniformed personnel, including police, Home Guard and reserved police, Pune Rural and Pimpri Chinchwad will deploy 5,000 and 4,500 personnel respectively on various duties. Pune police has prepared 31 flying squad teams, 31 static surveillance teams along with special squads including Instant Response Team (IRT), Crime Response Team (CRT), Divisional Response Team (DRT) and Zonal Response Team (DRT) for maintaining law and order during voting.
Joint Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, Ravindra Shisve said the Pune police jurisdiction has been divided into 130 sectors and each sector will have an IRT comprising an assistant police inspector/police sub inspector and two constables for patrolling. Besides, there will be 30 CRTs, each led by police inspector (crime) and detection branch personnel of the local police station, 15 DRTs covering two police stations each, with one assistant or sub inspector and five constables, and five ZRTs covering five zones.