In the first of a series to help voters make an informed decision, mid-day examines the political dynamics and candidates in the Shivajinagar constituency, where the Maratha vote could swing the result
Number of Voters 50,918
2014 candidates: Vinayak Nimhan (Congress), Anil Bhosale (NCP), Vijay Kale (BJP), Milind Ekbote (Shiv Sena), Raju Pawar (MNS)
Constituency history: BJP won assembly elections from this constituency twice – in 1980 and 1985. Later, the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance was elected from this seat four times (1990- 2004).
Due to delimitation of the constituency in 2009, some of its parts were annexed to Kothrud, reducing BJP’s hold on this zone. That year, Vinayak Nimhan – a former Shiv Sainik – won the election on the Congress ticket.
Local dynamics: The constituency is home turf for Nimhan, who is known to possess considerable money and muscle power. He was voted to power for three consecutive terms, twice with the Shiv Sena, and once with Congress.
Dividing the dominant Maratha votes in the constituency will be NCP’s Anil Bhosale.
BJP has also fielded a Maratha candidate, Vijay Kale, who will further divide the Maratha votes, as well as draw voters from affluent areas such as Baner and Aundh, who have traditionally voted for his party.
Milind Ekbote, a staunch Hindutva activist, is representing Shiv Sena in the fight.
MNS’ Raju Pawar, who is currently a corporator, will also provide a challenge, as he already has significant clout in some pockets of the constituency
I expect our representatives to push hard for Metro and the ring road first. If the city grows vertically, it will be beneficial for residents in the area. I feel that the infrastructure developed so far should be utilised fully, which is not done most of the time. The MLA should also emphasise on the issue of pedestrian safety.
-Abhijit Achalare, Director, Achalare Realtors
Women’s safety is one of the important issues that should be given priority by the newly elected representative. Our sitting MLA has launched some development schemes, and citizens should co-operatefor the completion of the projects undertaken.
- Arun Firodia, Chairman, Kinetic Group
2,79,996 Total number of voters in the constituency
The poll results in this constituency could well depend on how the votes of the dominant Maratha community are split between the candidates