PMC Mayor selection to be a tough job

first_imgPune: After securing a victory in the Pune civic polls, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) now faces some tough choices to select a suitable Mayoral candidate in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). This time, the post has been reserved for a woman candidate elected from the open category.The BJP bagged an unprecedented 98 of 162 seats in the PMC election, and supplanted the NCP in its stronghold Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation with a landslide victory, winning 77 out of 128 seats.The saffron party’s shrewd, high-risk strategy of awarding tickets to ‘imports’ from other parties, especially heavyweight defectors from the opposition NCP, has paid-off handsomely, even at the cost of incurring dissent of loyalists.As many as 38 of these defectors, from the NCP, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, and the Congress, won the day for the BJP in the Pune and the Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal corporations.Fight for the top jobThe BJP is in a quandary about whom to award the top job in Pune city: loyalist or renegade?Among the frontrunners are Mukta Tilak (a descendant of Lokmanya Tilak), an old party hand who was re-elected to the civic body for the fourth consecutive time. Ms. Tilak has her power base in the Old Pune Peth area. She has been a BJP leader in the PMC since 2009.Another loyalist whose name is being floated is that of Ranjana Tilekar, mother of the BJP MLA from Hadapsar, Yogesh Tilekar.On the other hand, ex-NCP corporator Reshma Bhosale, who joined the BJP at the eleventh hour after being denied a ticket by her former party, is believed to be nurturing ambitions for the top post as well.Ms. Bhosale, wife of NCP legislator Anil Bhosale, is a notable corporator from the city’s Shivajinagar area. Ms. Bhosale’s defection to the BJP helped attenuate the NCP’s supposed invincibility in the area. Moreover, she is a close relative of BJP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Kakde, who played a significant role in manoeuvring the BJP to power in the PMC.Former Congress leader Sheetal Sawant, who won for the second time, is another strong contender among the prize ‘defectors’. Like Ms. Bhosale, Ms. Sawant has an impressive political pedigree, being the daughter-in-law of former Pune Mayor and Congress leader Bharat Sawant.last_img

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