While the Shiv Sena announced that the Maha Vikas Aghadi will together fight next year’s Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad civic elections, the Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party, however, said no such decision has been taken yet.
“Shiv Sena and NCP will fight the civic elections of PMC and PCMC together. We are also trying to get Congress on board,” said Shiv Sena MP and chief spoksperson Sanjay Raut. He was speaking at a meeting of Shiv Sena office-bearers in Pune on Saturday.
Reacting to Raut’s statement, NCP spokesperson Ankush Kakade said,” No such decision has been taken at the local level. We are yet to discuss it. However, if any such decision had been taken at higher-level by our senior leaders, we are not aware of it.”
NCP’s Pimpri-Chinchwad president Sanjog Waghere said, “We know nothing about it whether an alliance has been struck or not. Our leader Ajitdada Pawar will take the final decision on this count. Whatever decision, he takes we will abide by it.”
Kakade, however, did not rule out the possibility of the Maha Vikas Aghadi contesting the elections together.
On Saturday, Raut said at the Shiv Sena meeting: “If the three parties which are together at the state-level contest the civic elections unitedly, then there is no reason why we cannot capture power in PMC and PCMC.”
Raut said that NCP and Shiv Sena top leaders have agreed to contest the elections together. “We are considering roping in the Congress both in Pune city and Pimpri-Chinchwad. We want to put up a united front. The success of this venture will be replicated across the state,” he said.
Raut said they have already finalised the formula for contesting civic elections. “For instance, in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, NCP is the leading party. It will lead the other two constituents,” he said. Simiarly, in Mumbai, Kalyan-Dombivali, Nashik, Sambhajinagar, the Sena is the dominant party and will therefore the lead the other two. Sena leaders said a dominant party will have more seats than other parties.
Mohan Joshi, vice-president of State Congress, said: “We are keen on three parties joining hands and fighting the civic elections. Discussions on the issue are underway and will soon be finalised. The three parties fighting together will certainly ensure the victory of Maha Vika Aghadi.”
In 2017 civic elections, BJP had for the the first time grabbed power in PMC and PCMC by unseating the NCP.
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