Citizen forum interviews 20 aspirants for PMC poll

PNS says more to be interviewed by end of month to establish their clean past; 1st list of candidates may be out by 1st week of Dec

BY conducting interviews of 20 candidates, the Pune Nagrik Sanghatana (PNS), a recently established citizens' forum that aims to field clean candidates in the PMC election, has proved that it is two steps ahead of other political parties in the city when it comes to preparations for the upcoming civic poll. Three of this first batch of 20 people interviewed were women. The interviews were held on Sunday.

90 application forms
A total of 90 application forms had been distributed by the PNS to aspirants. An expert team comprising of veteran journalist Yamaji Malkar, social worker Manav Kamble, Pimpri-Chinchwad corporator Maruti Bhapkar and senior political expert R V Krishnan analysed the first 46 applications and conducted comprehensive interviews of 20 aspirants at the forum's office near Bhandarkar Road.

"Detailed interviews of 20 candidates were conducted, which took more than 30 minutes each. The second phase will involve interviewing the remaining 26 candidates and these will be conducted by the end of this week," said Nitish Laad, vice-president, PNS. "We have distributed 90 application forms, and we are planning to contest as many seats in the PMC election."

Ramesh Agarwal, general secretary, PNS, said two candidates were kept on hold as they were affiliated to political parties; one was from the Congress and the other from the Shiv Sena. "We are not against any party, but we have put the condition that once any candidates have committed to us, they should not go back to their political parties. Our aim is to cleanse politics by providing candidates with clean and good character for Puneites," he said.

All-party meet
On behalf of the PNS, an all-party symposium on 'Important Issues of Pune and its Remedies' has been organised on December 7. "We have invited all party leaders, including those from Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena and MNS, in the symposium, which will be presided over by veteran socialist leader Bhai Vaidya, former mayor of Pune," said Vijay Warudkar, coordinator, PNS. Many retired military personnel have also lent support to the PNS. The PNS said it has the support of Commander Mukund Lele, Col Sahani, Col Jayant Chitale, Lt Col Suresh Patil and other ex-servicemen.

Baba Ramdev, Anna Hazare to visit city
>> YOGA guru Baba Ramdev is scheduled to be in the city on December 13, 14 and 15 to attend a programme organised under the aegis of the Bharat Swabhiman Trust and Patanjali Yog Samiti. The yoga guru and corruption fighter plans to address the masses at the Mahalaxmi Ground in Kharadi village, where he will appeal to the people that they should cast their precious vote. "He (Baba Ramdev) will not campaign for any PNS candidate," said Nitish Laad, vice-president, PNS. 

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev

>> Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare will also be in the city soon. It is learnt that he will be conferred an honour by Art of Living founder Shri Shri Ravishankar on the occasion of Swami Vivekanad's 150th birth anniversary on January 14. 

MNS sees 1,030 registrations
THE Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) has received 1,030 registrations for the PMC election. The MNS is holding a written exam on knowledge of law and procedures before distributing party tickets.  "As the response from the candidates is overwhelming, we are extending the date for registration and now all names must be given by Tuesday," said Omkar Renuse, an MNS activist. The MNS is charging Rs 1,000 from every aspirant as registration fee.

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