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BJP’s Formula for winning Corporation Elections- May 12, 2016

State Government has recently took a revolutionary decision on Municipal Corporation elections to be conducted in 2017. For municipal corporations, two panels, each comprising two wards, would be clubbed into a single panel of four wards.

This will enable political parties to field four candidates from a single panel, as opposed to two candidates per panel earlier. This way, the entire voting population of a panel will be able to vote for candidates of the four wards that comprise the panel.Except Mumbai Corporation above decision is applicable for remaining cities.

Structure for Pune Municipal Corporation

Let’s talk about the above decision for Pune Municipal Corporation. P. M.C which earlier had 152 wards that will now be converted to 38 Panels. As per rules for reservation (50% for ladies) each panel needs to have 2 seats for ladies. OBC and SC, ST reservations will be applicable also. It looks like each panel will consist of 1 open category for gents, 1 open category for ladies and remaining 2 seats would be held by reserved categories. Approximately 50 to 60 thousand population shall be part of a Panel.

Political Scenario in Pune Municipal Corporation

BJP has been very keen on Panel System for Pune. P.M.C has been divided into 8 Legislative Assembly constituencies like Kasba, Kothrud, Shivajinagar, Pune cantonment, Parvati, Vadgao Sheri, Hadapsar, Khadakwasla. BJP’s strategy is gaining highest seats in Kasba, Parvati, Kothrud which are traditional voters for them since years. NCP is stronger in Hadapsar, Khadakwasla, Vadgaosheri so they want to focus on suburban Pune for continuing power. Challenge for NCP is to keep seats against Shivsena and Indian National Congress in suburban area.

Congress has been losing seats in Panel system as per history, so they need to take extra care for sustaining in the election. They however continue to retain loyal and traditional voters in Pune. Shivsena can raise their number in Panel system as they have strong cadre structure and aggressive City Unit Head. Last but not the least Maharashtra Navnirman Sena has to face existential competition from all political parties. That they have performed poorly in last Loksabha and Vidhansabha elections only makes things more difficult for them. Independent and small political parties like BSP, SP, MIM shall face tough situation in Panel system. All 5 major political parties are not in mood of forging coalition with older partners.

It’s difficult to predict who is going to be next Mayor in Pune but surely Punekars will get to experience cut throat competition next year.

- Prof. Mahesh Sane

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