Alarm bells ring for Cong-NCP before Assembly polls in Pune
On the home turf of NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Pune district, the Lok Sabha results have sounded alarm bells for the Congress-NCP ahead of the Assembly elections.
After having lost to NDA candidates in 18 of the 21 Assembly segments under the four Lok sabha seats in the district, prospects of the rulling alliance appear bleak in the state polls due in October this year.
Of the four seats, Shirur and Maval were retained by Shiv Sena, Baramati saw NDA candidate Mahadev Jankar giving a tough fight to 'invincible' NCP, while the Pune seat was wrested from the Congress by the BJP.
In the 2009 Assembly elections, Congress-NCP had established supremacy by winning 13 of the 21 assembly seats, but it could manage to hold its lead only in three segments in the recently concluded Lok Sabha election of 2014.
Of the 21 legislators in the district, NCP has nine, Congress and BJP have four each, while Shiv Sena has three, respectively. The 21st legislator from the district in an Independent.
In Pune, the BJP got maximum votes in all six assembly segments, including the Congress Bastion of Pune Cantonment and Shivajinagar. It also managed to get lead in Vadgaonsheri.
This has given jitters to sitting Congress MLA's Vinayak Nimhan (Shivajinagar) and Ramesh Bagawe (Pune Canatonment) and NCP legislator Bapu Pathare (Vadgaonsheri).
The other three segments of Kasba Peth, Parvati and Kothrud are representeed in the assembly by NDA leaders.
The ruling alliance can see some respsite only in Baramati, which has six assewmbly segments under it. With NCP's Supriya Sule winning the Lok sabha constituency, the Congress can hope to retain Indapur and Bhor Assembly seats and NCP Baramati, which is represented by deputy Chef Minister Ajit Pawar.
Among the other three segments, Daund has an Independent MLA, while while Purandhar and Khadakwasala have Sena and BJP, respectively.
The six assembly seats in Shirur LS constituency rallied behind the Shiv Sena candidate despite the efforts of the
NCP to make most of its strength in the local civic body.
Of the six legislators, five belong to the NCP, while one is from SS.
The LS results saw the SS getting maximum votes from all five segments represented by the NCP, adding to the concern of sitting legislators Vilas Lande, Valabh Benke, Dilip Walse-Patil, Dilip Mohite and Ashok Pawar.
Maval Lok sabha seat included three assembly segment from the district - Maval, Chinchwad and Pimpri. While Maval and Pimpri are represented by BJP and NCP legislators, respectively, Chinchwad MLA Laxman Jagtap had contested as an Independent with NCP support.
He later resigned to contest the LS polls from Maval but lost to SS's Sriran Barne. The voters in Chinchwad and Pimpri too stood by the SS in the LS election.
(Posted on 21-05-2014)