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PCMC Elections 2017: Will NCP keep bastion intact or will the BJP race to glory in high-stakes battle?

Counting of votes, to decide the fate of 773 candidates from 32 panels, will take place on Thursday.

Written by Manoj Dattatrye More | Pune |
February 23, 2017 4:14:08 am
PCMC polls, counting, PCMC polls counting, PCMC elections 2017, pimpri-chinchwad, NCP, shiv sena, BJP, counting today, pune news, indian express news A counting centre at Pimpri-Chinchwad. (Source: Rajesh Stephan)

WILL the BJP, which has left no stone unturned to grab the Pawar family bastion of Pimpri-Chinchwad, succeed in its endeavour? Or will the NCP, which recovered lost ground after being on the backfoot in the initial stages of electioneering, come back to power? Or will the Shiv Sena, in the backdrop of Uddhav Thackeray’s aggressive campaigning, spring a surprise?

Questions like these were being debated among local residents, and in political circles, throughout Wednesday in Pimpri-Chinchwad, a day after the PCMC election witnessed a record turnout of 67 per cent. Counting of votes, to decide the fate of 773 candidates from 32 panels, will take place on Thursday. “The counting will start at 10 am at 11 counting centres. The first result should be out in two hours… all results should be out in 6-7 hours,” said PCMC election department chief Yeshwant Mane.

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A day after the polling — the highest among 10 municipal corporations which went to polls in Maharashtra — major political parties, especially the NCP, BJP and even the Sena, continued to maintain that the high turnout would help them in their bid for power.

The NCP has been in power in PCMC for 10 years. The BJP claimed that it will win around 70 seats in the 128-member House; it already has one corporator who has been elected unopposed from Bhosari. NCP leaders, meanwhile, presented varying numbers of party candidates who are likely to win.

Trying to strike a balance, the Sena said it will get 35-40 seats, but the party claimed that the NCP, not the BJP, would emerge as the single largest party with 55 seats.

Laxman Jagtap, president of BJP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit, said, “The high turnout means voters have chosen us… because of the united front put up by our party leaders, the aggressive campaign against corruption and for good governance, led by the Chief Minister himself, and proper selection of candidates”.

Shiv Sena MP Shrirang Barne said, “The Sena will emerge as the second largest party and the BJP will be pushed to the third position,” he said.

NCP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad unit president Sanjog Waghere said the large turnout was a “vote for development work carried out by the party”. “We will certainly win 70-72 seats,” he said. Another NCP leader, Yogesh Behl, said the party would win 65-68 seats.

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