Re: Elections in Maharashtra

Poor show in city a wake up call for Cong, NCP
Ajay Khape
Posted: Oct 26, 2009 at 0603 hrs IST

Pune Until the Assembly polls, they had lost no opportunity fighting
against each other. However, the Assembly election results in the city
have come as a wake up call for the NCP and the Congress to join hands
in the city lest they lose control over the Pune Municipal

The upsurge of Shiv Sena, BJP and MNS in the city, going by their
performance, has forced the NCP and Congress to seriously brace for an
unfavourable situation that may arise against them in the PMC. “We
came to power in PMC as the single largest party in the 2007 civic
polls. It had also indicated the growing strength of the party in the
city, but the outcome of recent polls has something else to say,” said
NCP city chief Jaidev Gaikwad.

Though there is no threat to the Congress-NCP stronghold, he said time
had come for both to come together in the civic body to retain hold
over the city. “The NCP and Congress have been at loggerheads for the
last few years and this has had its impact on performance of both the
parties in the assembly polls. It’s time to join hands now.”

Of the eight seats in the city, the Shiv Sena and BJP won two seats
each while the MNS opened its account with one. One seat went to NCP
while the Congress managed to win two seats, one less than it had won
in 2004. “The Congress-NCP should have won maximum seats in the city
going by the strength in the local civic body. The Congress from the
beginning applied pressure tactics on the NCP and took into kitty
seats that were favourable for the NCP,” Gaikwad said, adding that the
NCP was stronger in Shivajinagar and Hadapsar constituencies.

He admitted there were problems between the two parties during the
Assembly poll as cadres did not wholeheartedly participate in the
campaign of each other’s candidates. Stating that senior leaders of
both the parties have buried their differences, Gaikwad said Congress
and NCP will work together in the civic body. “This will ensure party
cadres join hands and power remains with the two.”

Congress managed to win two of the four seats it contested and
retained Pune Cantonment seat while Shivajinagar seat went to a
sitting MLA who had won the seat in 2004 on a Shiv Sena ticket. “The
city has always been a stronghold of the Congress. We proved it during
LS polls,” a Congress leader said.

City Congress chief Abhay Chhajed said several factors led to fewer
candidates winning. “Delimitation along with local politics had an
adverse effect on performance. We hope to change the situation after
the Congress and NCP work together at local level.”

....and I am Sid Harth


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