Denied ticket? Welcome to Pune Vikas Aghadi

New political formation says its doors open for 'deserving' poll aspirants unable to make it to final list of other parties

The Pune Vikas Aghadi (PVA), a relatively new political party, has opened its doors to aspiring candidates who have been denied a ticket by other parties. The PVA was launched last month and attracted members from different political parties. It is now keen to put forward candidates for the PMC and PCMC elections next month.

Be my guest: Chandan Sondkar, founder-president of Pune Vikas
Aghadi. File Pic

Suresh Kalmadi, the tainted city Member of Parliament, had floated a Pune Vikas Aghadi in 1998, but later the party was dissolved. Members of the new party say they have no Kalmadi leanings and are only using the name Pune Vikas Aghadi. "PVA is especially for those deserving candidates who have been denied by other political parties," said Chandan Sondkar, founder-president of the new PVA.

Political parties in the city and Pimpri-Chinchwad are currently busy conducting interviews of aspiring candidates. The Congress has received 678 applications for PMC election tickets. The BJP, MNS, Shiv Sena, NCP and other parties have shortlisted aspiring candidates and the final list may be declared after January 20, once the final interviews are over.

"PVA is open for deserving candidates who have been ignored by their respective parties," said Sondkar.
He said that of the 678 aspiring candidates in the Congress, 100 might end up a disgruntled lot because of denial of a ticket.

"We are not officially inviting anybody to join the PVS, but our gates are open for them," said Sondkar. Denying any direct or indirect connection with Kalmadi's PVA, Sondkar said: "We have just used the same name but there is no other similarity with Kalmadi's political forum before he joined the Congress."

Sondkar explained that the PVA was looking at contesting 50 per cent of the total 152 seats in the PMC. "The PVA will announce its candidate list in three stages," said Sondkar. Without taking Kalmadi's name, state Congress spokesman Anant Gadgil said: "It is said the PVA was once formed by the one who has ruined the name of our country and also that of the Congress. How can anyone go and contest elections using the PVA name?"Mayor Mohansingh Rajpal, who is from the NCP, said: "PVA has had a bad name in the past and it will not work this time as well. I don't think any of my party members will join the party."

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