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17 January 2017 | Last updated 10:50 PM
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Yin For Change
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PMC to go for polls on February 21
Pune: The daggers are out finally for the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) elections as the State Election Commission (SEC) announced the date of civic elections which will be held on February 21. While making the announcement, the SEC put the model code of conduct in force with immediate effect on Wednesday evening.
According to the commission, the PMC elections will be held on February 21, the counting will be carried out on February 23 and the results will be declared on the same day.
The candidates will have to file the nomination forms along with the affidavits between January 27 and February 3.
The voters will have to vote for four members as the four-member panel system has been introduced this time during the civic elections and each party will have to field four candidates. There are total 41 panels out of which two will have three seats each and total 162 elected members will be in the new body.
After the announcement of the model code of conduct, the vehicle facility offered to the elected representatives of the PMC was suspended till the elections get over and the vehicles of mayor, deputy mayor, standing committee chairman and others were put in the custody of the civic administration to be used for the election process.
At present, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is the ruling party in the PMC with 52 elected members, but recently, a couple of them joined the BJP while the Congress having 29 members is holding the opposition leader’s post. Shiv Sena and MNS have total 15 and 28 members respectively while the RPI has two members. However, some of the sitting corporators have already joined other parties.
However, it is said that the main contest for the civic elections will be between the ruling NCP and BJP and both the parties are targeting each other over various issues.
Metro, 3 other projs on hold
Pune: As the model code of conduct came into force with the announcement of municipal corporation election, four major projects - river development, 24x7 water scheme, purchase of new buses and tendering process for Pune metro will be put on hold.
As the Model Code of Conduct is implemented from Wednesday, the administration and corporators will not be able to take decisions on these projects.
No funds for rivers
The Central government had approved the Rs 1,000 crore for improvement of Mula and Mutha rivers a year ago. The local unit of BJP took the credit for it and also felicitated Union minister Prakash Javadekar for approving the funds but the irony is that the project is now on hold.
The State government did not hand over the fund which was already released by the Central government.
Another major project is to procure new 1,550 buses for the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML). The ruling NCP tried to take the credit for it but the administration will not be able carry out the tendering process. Now, this project will not move ahead till the new board of directors is appointed.
There is a controversy over the 24x7 water supply project which was rejected by the PMC General Body. This major and essential project will also get stuck due to the model code of conduct.
Though, the Prime Minister did the ground breaking ceremony for the Pune Metro Project, but its tendering works are incomplete. The administration will not able to do the tendering process during the model code of conduct.
The administrative sources said that they will be able to use this period to do ground work like preparing the documents and complete the various surveys.
Political game to heat up now
Pune: Political activities picked up momentum in the city from Wednesday itself after the elections for both Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad civic bodies were announced.
Political parties get only 40 days to prepare for contesting elections. During this period, they have to finish the process of selecting the candidates for each ward, stopping the rebels and finishing dialogues with alliance partners. In addition, they have to do the campaign planning and execution and ground preparations for the elections and the counting day.
Many candidates who are doubtful about their own parties would either join the BJP or the NCP in the coming days as the primary picture is that there would be a close fight between these two parties.
Many state-level leaders are expected to visit the city in the coming days for campaigning. As the polls are approaching, there would be allegations and counter-allegations by the parties against their arch rivals on various issues. As for the first time the State Election Commission has introduced the four-member panel system for the municipal elections, instead of individual rivalry there would be party-wise campaign in the city.
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