AFTER DECLARING zero assets in the affidavit, Mangal Sunil Pawar, a candidate of Rashtriya Samaj Paksh (RSP), with the symbol of cup and saucer, is ready to take on the ‘rich’ candidates at fray from Panel 29 Navi Peth-Parvati. Out of the 1,090 candidates standing for elections this year, more than 100 are crorepatis. There are even a few with assets crossing over Rs 100 crore.
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Living in a brittle-tinned roof home, Pawar’s social service to her community and dedication to the RSP has won her the ticket from the party. With “not a penny in her pocket”, she finds it challenging to go about campaigning. “If I just want to campaign in my own area, it is around Rs 600 per person. Hence, most of my family members have come forward to help,” said Pawar.
A caretaker at a private hospital by profession, she has quit her job for the elections. Her sister from Shirur and a few other relatives have gathered to make her “crusade without a banner” with just pamphlets. Due to lack of monetary support or a vehicle, Mangal has been campaigning door to door to win people’s support so that she can help those who are as impoverished as herself.
“Today, is the first time I have hired an auto rickshaw for the campaign. This itself has cost me Rs 1,200 per day, but I have received some help from the party city chief, Devendra Dhaigude,” she said. Party chief Dhaigude said, “She has been working hard for three years now and that’s the reason we chose her. Mangal has even been made the party’s deputy chief recently. Amongst the 12 candidates contesting, she has the best chance of winning though it’s her first time and the party must give her some help.”