January 7, 2017 1:57:26 am
Despite being allies in the state and the central government, the Shiv Sena and the BJP are all set for a bitter fight against each other in the electoral panels of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), which fall under the Kothrud assembly segment, to establish their hold in the area.
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The Kothrud assembly segment mainly comprises areas alongside Karve Road, Paud Road, Pashan Road, Baner Road and Aundh Road, from where 30 corporators will be elected to the PMC. The segment has been a Sena stronghold for a long time, but the BJP managed to win the seat in the 2014 assembly elections, jolting the Sena bastion.
Now, the BJP will try its best to strength its presence in the area by winning the electoral panels in the assembly segment, while the Sena will work hard to regain its hold in the civic polls.
The party is focussed on winning the maximum number of seats in the area, as city unit chief Vinayak Nimhan is from Pashan, while former Sena legislator Chandrakant Mokate is trying to regain the confidence of voters from Karve Road area.
Meanwhile, the NCP has been able to take advantage of the tussle between the local units of the Sena and the BJP, and it made inroads in the area in the 2012 civic polls. The MNS has also made its presence felt in Kothrud by winning a few seats in 2012, but its declining popularity is a cause for concern.
On the other hand, sitting BJP legislator Medha Kulkarni has a tough task on her hands: to win the maximum number of seats in PMC from the Kothrud assembly segment and prove that the BJP still has the voters’ approval. This segment is also significant as it is part of the Pune Lok Sabha constituency, represented by BJP leader Anil Shirole.
The Kothrud area is considered the fastest developed area of the city and comprises middle-class and higher middle-class residents, most of whom have migrated from old parts of the city. Traffic congestion is the main issue facing residents of the area.
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