Pune: NCP unseated from PCMC stronghold

Senior party leaders have admitted that there is an anti-NCP wave in the PCMC area; the party’s performance was further dragged down by local issues

With the BJP bagging Chinchwad, Shiv Sena prevailing in Pimpri, and independent candidate, Mahesh Landge winning Bhosari, NCP and Congress have been wiped out in the twin industrial townships of Pimpri-Chinchwad.

Mahesh Landge
Independent candidate from Bhosari, Mahesh Landge, celebrates after his win. Pic/Shashank Sane

For NCP, in particular, issues such as reducing red zones (no development zones around defence establishments) in Bhosari, regularisation of illegal constructions in Chinchwad, and infighting within senior levels of the party, lead to yesterday’s debacle.

Formerly associated with the Congress, and now Shiv Sena’s only MLA from the Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad areas, Gautam Chabukswar — who unseated NCP’s Anna Bansode in Pimpri — stated that there was an anti-NCP wave in the city, and the voters were looking for an alternative.

In Bhosari, where sitting MLA Vilas Lande had won as an independent candidate in 2009, he was fielded as NCP’s official candidate this time round. However, his candidature was openly opposed by NCP’s own corporators and other leaders. All the rebels within the party - and from other parties - had supported Mahesh Landge, who contested as an independent candidate after he was denied an NCP ticket. This led to the consolidation of votes against Lande, resulting in rebel candidate, Landge’s victory from this constituency.

Chinchwad’s sitting MLA Laxman Jagtap (BJP) won yet another term yesterday with 1,23,786 votes. In 2009, after NCP denied him a ticket, Jagtap had contested the elections as an independent candidate. The real fight was between BJP and Shiv Sena in this constituency, while NCP did not even pose a challenge. In the constituency with the largest number of registered voters, the NCP ultimately placed third.

Azam Pansare, a senior NCP leader said, “There was certainly a Modi wave, and we can’t deny its effect on the Assembly elections too. The winning candidates are the ones who had defected from the Congress or NCP in Pimpri-Chinchwad, but they won because of the wave. Gautam Chabukswar, who won on Shiv Sena’s ticket, was earlier with Congress, while Laxman Jagtap, who won on BJP’s ticket, was earlier with NCP. And Mahesh Landge, who contested as an independent and won this election, is also originally from the NCP.”

Another senior NCP leader said that the election result is a warning sign for the party. “Next we are going to have PCMC elections, and it will be a challenge for us to retain power in the civic body. We are expecting major changes in the party’s internal structures post the election results,” the party functionary said.

NCP wiped out

Gautam Chabukswar (Shiv Sena) – 51,096
Anna Bansode (NCP) – 48,761
Chandrakanta Sonkamble (RPI-BJP) – 47,288

Laxman Jagtap (BJP) – 1,23,786
Rahul Kalate (Shiv Sena) – 63,489
Nana Kate (NCP) – 42,553

Mahesh Landge (Independent) – 60,173
Sulabha Ubale (Shiv Sena) – 44,857
Vilas Lande (NCP) – 44,211

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