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Discontent in Sena over seat-sharing

Insiders say local leaders unhappy over many Shiv Sena bastions in Pune not figuring in list of 63 seats allotted to party after talks with ally BJP

Local Shiv Sena leaders are claiming the party has been cheated by its oldest ally BJP in the seat-sharing arrangement for the upcoming civic polls in the city. The Shiv Sena, which is part of the Mahayuti that has the BJP and the RPI as the other alliance partners, has got 63 seats. The contentious seat-sharing talks in the Mahayuti had been on for the past few days and the arrangement was finally reached yesterday. 

The BJP got 89 of the 152 seats for the PMC election. According to the discussions held between the top bosses of the three Mahayuti parties, the Shiv Sena and the BJP will now have to share the seats from their quota with their new ally RPI. 

Local Shiv Sena leaders claim the BJP wanted to give them only 57 seats. They said when the Shiv Sena demanded it should get at least 60 seats, the BJP swindled it by giving it the less important seats. A Shiv Sena insider, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said local leaders were extremely unhappy with the seat-sharing arrangement and many of them were likely to rebel against the party. 

"Earlier the BJP was ready to give only 57 seats to us, but when we demanded at least as many seats as we fought in the previous civic poll, the BJP has given us those seats where winning is a long shot and even finding candidates is a task," said the source.

The source said Tadiwala Road, Koregaon Park, Kharadi, Kasewadi and Rajewadi were some of the areas given to the Shiv Sena in the seat-sharing process. 

"These are areas on which the party does not have a strong hold and where it will not get more than 200 votes. Besides, we have to give eight to 10 seats to the RPI, which will reduce our seats and the party's number of seats will again come down to 50," said the Shiv Sena insider. 

The party leader also claimed that the BJP had snatched away a few traditional seats of the party which were considered its fortresses. BJP city chief Vikas Mathkari did not respond to calls or messages. 

Fact file
152
The number of seats in Pune Municipal Corporaqtion 
89
The number of seats the BJP got under the seat-sharing formula of the Mahayuti 
63
The number of seats allotted to the Shiv Sena 

On first day, only one nomination filed
ONLY one person filed his nomination papers yesterday for the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) election to be held on February 16. It was the first day of accepting nomination papers at all the 14 PMC ward offices. Congress candidate Vilas Pandurang Wadekar, a resident of Kasba Peth, submitted the requisite documents at the Kasba Peth ward office at noon. Wadekar filed four nomination forms to ensure there was no mistake. He filed his nomination papers even before the formal announcement of the Congress list of candidates. "Wadekar was the only person who submitted his papers at Kasba Peth PMC ward office on Tuesday," said Dr Pravin Ashtikar, Election Officer, PMC. "We are also appealing to the candidates that they should also submit 'AB' form (official letter of the political party on whose ticket the candidate is contesting) by February 3, the last day of accepting nomination papers."

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