Cities News Pune

Local NCP (SP) unit recommends party leadership to contest 6 of 8 assembly seats in Pune, but alliance partners not ready to ‘lose’ their strongholds | Pune News

Flying high on the back of its performance in the Lok Sabha elections, the NCP (SP) has decided to stake claim to six of the eight Pune city seats in the forthcoming assembly polls. However, alliance partners Congress and Shiv Sena (UBT) are likely to demand some of these seats.

The Pune Lok Sabha constituency has six assembly segments – Vadgaonsheri, Pune Cantonment, Parvati, Kasba, Shivajinagar, and Kothrud – while the Khadakwasla assembly segment under the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency and the Hadapsar assembly segment under the Shirur Lok Sabha constituency also fall in the city jurisdiction. In the previous assembly election, the NCP had won the Vadgaonsheri and Hadapsar assembly constituencies while the Congress wrested the Kasba assembly seat from the BJP in a bypoll.

“As per the directions of the party chief (Sharad Pawar), we have reviewed party position in all the eight assembly segments and have recommended NCP (SP) to contest six assembly segments considering the strength of the party and the winnability factor,” said city NCP (SP) chief Prashant Jagtap.

“The list of assembly segments that can be contested by NCP (SP) effectively has been submitted to the state unit,” he said, adding that “the final decision on it will be taken by the national and state presidents of the party.”

The NCP had won Vadgaonsheri and Hadapsar assembly segments in the previous assembly election, so the party is naturally claiming those seats, Jagtap said. However, both the sitting NCP legislators have sided with the Ajit Pawar faction.

In the Lok Sabha polls, the NCP (SP) won the Shirur and Baramati constituencies, so it is confident of winning the Hadapsar and Khadakwasla assembly seats.

Notably, the BJP’s performance in Pune Cantonment and Shivajinagar assembly segments was poor during the Lok Sabha elections and the Maha Vikas Aghadi was likely to win both the seats.

“The Congress has been contesting the Pune Cantonment and Shivajinagar assembly seats, so there is no question of giving them to alliance partners during the assembly election. We will ask the party leadership to not give up the two seats along with Kasba and Parvati,” said a Congress leader.

The Shiv Sena (UBT) has a strong base in Kothrud, Kasba, Hadapsar, and Vadgaonsheri, so its leaders would be pushing the party to contest these seats. “The Shiv Sena (UBT) party workers are active and the party would be victorious in the state elections as well,” said a Sena leader.

In the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, the BJP-led Maha Yuti won only 17 seats, whereas the MVA won 30 seats in Maharashtra. One seat was won by an Independent, who later extended his support to the Congress.

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