On the campaign trail: Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar holds a
road rally; Raj Thackeray at his rally; Thackeray's wife Sharmila
waves to supporters; curious onlookers click the MNS chief's
pictures; Thackeray and his wife offer prayers at the Kasba Peth
Ganapati before starting their road show; Thackeray's
female fans make a beeline to get a glance of their celebrity
politician. Pics/Krunal Gosavi
Deputy Chief Minister and NCP leader Ajit Pawar's road show kicked off from Sutarwadi in Pashan and snaked through Pashan village, Aundh village, Dopodi, Wakadewadi, Shivajinagar, Model Colony, Janwadi, Gokhale Nagar and finally concluded at Prabhat Road.
According to sources, a crowd of around 3,000 party workers along with NCP spokesman Ankush Kakade and other leaders kept waiting for Pawar for hours at the Patrakar Bhavan as his rally was supposed to start from there. But the deputy chief minister took a different route, much to the dismay of city leaders and their supporters.
According to political observers, Pawar left the rally half way and did not go to Kasba Peth as MNS chief Raj Thackeray was already campaigning there.
Contesting the claim, NCP spokesperson Ankush Kakade said, "It had nothing to do with Raj Thackeray coming to the city. Ajit Pawar left early as he was supposed to leave for Mumbai for some urgent work there."
Thousands of party workers from 10 wards, led by Anil Bhoasle, Krishnakant Kudale and other NCP leaders, participated in the rally rally that started early in the morning and went on till almost 1pm.
As far as the MNS rally is concerned, Raj Thackeray stared off his road show from Shaniwarwada around 11am with a 2,000-strong crowd in tow. The rally snaked through Kasaba Peth, Rasta Peth, Laxmi Road, Shivaji road and finally concluded at Swargate around 1.30pm.
Thackeray's second round of road show started at 4.30pm from Rajmahal, his residence in the city, and covered Sinhagad Road, Warje, Karvenagar and Kothrud.