BJP wins Pune Municipal Corporation for the first time
Pune, Feb 23: BJP today captured NCP's Pune bastion, winning a comfortable majority and coming to power in the city for the first time.
The saffron party won 98 out of 162 seats in the Pune Municipal Corporation, dislodging NCP which was in power in the city since 2007. The Sharad Pawar-led party could win 38 seats this time. Seats won by other parties were as follows: Shiv Sena - 10, Congress - 9, MNS - 2, MIM - 1 and independents - 4.
BJP delivered a similar blow to NCP in neighbouring Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation too, by capturing the power. In the 2012 civic elections, BJP had won only 26 seats in Pune and was at number four. Before elections, several sitting corporators from other parties, mainly from Congress and NCP, had switched their loyalty to BJP.
BJP was targeted by its detractors for admitting some criminal elements' into party fold, and also faced disgruntlement within its ranks for the same reason. The party's campaign was spearheaded by Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Fadnavis had to suffer opposition's barbs during the last phase of campaign when his rally in the city drew no crowd and was cancelled.
However, going by today's results, the CM seemed to have the last laugh. District Guardian Minister and BJP MLA from the city Girish Bapat credited the victory to the efforts of party workers. NCP city unit president Vandana Chavan accepted the defeat and said her party would play the role of a strong opposition in the civic body.