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NCP gets a reason to cheer as BJP and Sena refuse to blink

Leaders say while saffron parties will be fighting each other, NCP holds a chance to score better.

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune |
January 25, 2017 8:41:01 am

THE ONGOING deadlock between the BJP and Shiv Sena over seat sharing in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad has give NCP a reason to cheer ahead of the municipal polls scheduled in February. NCP leaders believe that if the saffron pre-poll alliance does not fructify, then the party holds a strong chance of doing well.

Despite several rounds of meetings, the BJP and Shiv Sena leaders in Pimpri-Chinchwad have failed to reach any consensus over seat sharing. Both are blaming each other for not agreeing to a formula. On PMC terrain too, both the BJP and Shiv Sena are refusing to see eye-to-eye over seat adjustments. Top leaders of both the parties concede that the alliance might not happen after all.

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“If the two parties don’t join hands, it will certainly be an advantage for us in Pimpri-Chinchwad. In such an eventuality, we are confident as we believe that the saffron parties will be busy fighting each other, thereby giving NCP a clear advantage,” said NCP leader Yogesh Behl.

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Behl said if there is an alliance between BJP and Sena, still it would work in favour of NCP. “The BJP is planning to give tickets to turncoats from NCP and this is set to upset the party’s loyal workers and the BJP is set to suffer.”

Vandana Chavan, president of NCP Pune city unit, said, “No alliance between Shiv Sena and BJP will work to our advantage…In the past elections, they had contested jointly, yet we had won. If this time, they don’t contest jointly, it will benefit us more…”

NCP, which was elected to power in 2012 elections with an absolute majority in Pimpri-Chinchwad, has been rather edgy with the saffron parties, especially the BJP-led by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnvais, being all charged up to capture power from Ajit Pawar-led civic body.

Making strategic moves, BJP has managed to snatch several top NCP leaders and a clutch of sitting corporators in a bid to weaken the party and thereby, throw it out of power. Moreover, the BJP has also been claiming that some more corporators and leaders are ready to switch sides.

“If the confusion over alliance continues, we might even see a situation where some of our ‘exports’ might return home. Already two leaders have come back,” said Behl, hastening to add that they were however, not overtly concerned about what happens in other parties.

Meanwhile, the deadlock over seat sharing between the BJP and Shiv Sena, in both PMC  and PCMC, is unlikely to end till the Sena decides its alliance for Mumbai civic body polls. “The Sena is deliberately delaying in taking a decision. It is clear that everything depends on what happens in Mumbai. If there is an alliance in Mumbai, it will then be replicated in other parts of the state or vice versa,” said a top BJP leader in Pimpri-Chinchwad. Shiv Sena Maval MP Shrirang Barne, however, said the BJP is delaying taking the decision as they have given a proposal to them and are waiting for their nod. On PMC terrain, Shiv Sena city chief Vinayak Nimhan conceded that pre poll alliance in Pune between BJP and Sena rests on what happens for BMC polls.

Meanwhile, the NCP appears to be little worried about its own alliance with the Congress in Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune city. “Congress is on an extremely weak ground in PCMC. Yet, the party is demanding a high number of seats…we are not interested in such a scenario,” said Behl.

NCP leaders in Pune said even if the alliance doesn’t happen, they are ready with their list of 162 candidates.

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