January 28, 2017 12:43:47 am
WITH BJP and Shiv Sena failing to join hands ahead of the upcoming civic polls in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, the NCP and Congress seem to have been infused with new energy and enthusiasm. Both the parties described the announcement of “no-alliance” by Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray as a welcome development for their fortunes even as both sounded serious about striking an alliance. “It certainly is a positive development…the bitterness between both the parties shows,” said NCP State president Sunil Tatkare. He said the NCP will certainly push for an alliance with the Congress in PMC and PCMC. “Our talks are going on and we are hopeful of fighting the election together,” he said.
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Describing the BJP, Sena parting ways as a good sign for them, Congress city leader Abhay Chhajed, said, “Obviously, it will work to our advantage as both the parties will try to outdo each other,” he said. Chhajed the chances of them joining hands with NCP cannot be ruled out. “The discussions are underway, nothing can be said for sure at this stage,” he said.
NCP Pimpri-Chinchwad leader Yogesh Behl said, “If the alliance had happened, it would have benefited them as there would have been huge resentment in BJP. Now that the alliance has not happened, it will still benefit us as the BJP and Sena votes will get divided while the NCP votes will remain intact,” Behl said, adding that the development reflects the deep bitterness between the saffron parties. Of the 128 wards in 2012 elections, the NCP had won a majority of 83 wards. Ten independents had later joined hands with it, taking its tally to 93.
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Poll observers say the NCP has a reason to feel relieved after BJP went all out to import its leaders and weaken its base. “NCP had lost its popular leaders like Mahesh Landge and Azam Pansare besides several sitting corporators and former corporators. The BJP had in the past one month or so succeeded in generating a mood in its favour. Now that the bitterness between BJP and Shiv Sena is fully out in public domain, NCP is slated to gain with the saffron voters getting confused,” said K Dhanavate, an analyst.
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