Pune Loksabha By Election 2023 | Pune Lok Sabha By-Election 2023: In Pune LS constituency, Congress has more strength than NCP
PUNE : Pune Loksabha By Election 2023 | In the central area of Pune city which is known as Pune Lok Sabha constituency, the Congress Party’s strength is next to BJP’s and this constituency is not suitable for NCP, reveals the voting pattern of last election. The bypoll for the vacant Pune LS seat is likely to be announced soon. Although the number of NCP corporators is more compared to the Congress, in the LS constituency, the NCP has only three more corporators than the Congress. However, the last elections show that the votes of corporators do not translate into votes in assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Hence, the number of votes polled in civic polls cannot be considered while discussing seat sharing. In the six assembly constituencies included in the LS constituency, the Congress has bagged more votes compared to NCP and this shows that after BJP, the Congress is second most powerful party in the Pune Lok Sabha constituency.
Of the six assembly constituencies included in the Pune Lok Sabha seat, in the 2019 assembly poll, since the Kothrud constituency was allocated to the MNS, the Congress and NCP had not put up candidates in the area. In the remaining five seats, Congress put up three candidates and NCP put up two candidates.
The NCP won in the Wadgaon Sheri constituency and the Congress recently won the Kasba Peth bypoll. In the remaining Parvati, Pune Cantonment and Shivaji Nagar constituencies, the NCP and Congress have secured the second spot. In the Wadgaon Sheri constituency, the current MLA Sunil Tingre had got 97,708 (45.52 pc) votes and in Parvati constituency, Ashwini Kadam had received 60,245 (34.67 pc) votes. Hence, the NCP got 1.57 lakh votes. In Kasba Peth bypoll, current MLA Ravindra Dhangekar received 73,309 (52.98 pc) votes and in Shivaji Nagar constituency, Dattatray Bahirat of Congress had got 53,603 (39.98) votes. In Pune Cantonment constituency, Ramesh Bagwe of Congress had got 47,148 (37.25 pc) votes. Hence, the Congress had received a total 1.74 lakh votes which are more than those received by NCP.
In the 2017 local body polls, the NCP got 2.84 lakh votes in Mumbai, 34.17 lakh votes in nine other municipal corporations and 56.93 lakh votes in zilla parishad elections. The total number of votes bagged by the NCP is 92 lakh. The Congress got 8.29 lakh votes in Mumbai, 30 lakh votes in nine municipal corporations and 49.72 lakh votes in zilla parishads. The total number of votes bagged by the Congress is 89 lakh. The MNS received 4 lakh votes in Mumbai and 9 lakh votes in other municipal corporations. The MIM got 2.55 per cent votes in Mumbai.
The NCP is staking claim to the Pune LS seat. However, no strong and influential candidate has voiced his intention of contesting the election. NCP City Unit Chief Prashant Jagtap has expressed his desire of contesting the election. However, his influence is in Hadapsar assembly constituency which is part of Shirur LS seat. There is apprehension in NCP about voters in Pune city accepting a former mayor and NCP city unit chief as their candidate. Compared to NCP, former Congress MLA Mohan Joshi has an upper hand and he has experience of contesting last three LS elections and he has received the votes as the second placed candidate. Hence, based on the voting pattern in last elections, the strength of Congress is visible after BJP in this constituency.
In the four LS seats in Pune district, the NCP contests from three seats and the Congress contests from Pune city seat. After forming MVA, there is a tussle between the three parties over seat sharing. Against this background, the NCP is trying to wrest the Pune seat from the Congress. In the last two elections, BJP’s Anil Shirole and Girish Bapat had won the election by more than three lakh votes. The seat has become vacant due to Bapat’s demise. All parties have started making preparations for the bypoll which is likely to be held. In the Congress and NCP’s seat sharing formula, this seat has been with the Congress. Hence, the Congress should be allocated this seat. MVA leaders will decide about seat sharing, said former MLA of Congress Mohan Joshi.
After the formation of NCP, both the parties had faced each other in the 1999 LS elections. At that time, BJP’s Pradeep Rawat won the election by bagging 42 pc votes. Mohan Joshi of Congress was at the second spot by bagging 29 pc and former MP Vitthal Tupe had got 27 pc votes. Later, both the parties formed an alliance in the state. In 2004, Suresh Kalmadi of Congress won the election by 75,000 votes. In 2009, after the reorganisation of the constituency, Kalmadi’s victory margin was only 25,000 votes. At that time, MNS had bagged 75,000 votes. The Congress and NCP have a strong presence in suburban areas. Hence, after reorganisation of Pune LS constituency, BJP’s strength increased. Out of six assembly constituencies in the Pune LS seat, the NCP has Wadagaon Sheri constituency and Kasba Peth constituency was wrested by Ravindra Dhangekar from the BJP. In Pune cantonment and Shivaji Nagar constituencies, Congress candidates put up a good show. At both these places, the Congress had lost by a narrow margin.
In the PMC election in 2017, 42 corporators of NCP were elected and 10 corporators of Congress were elected. The 10 corporators of Congress are from Pune LS constituency and NCP has 13 corporators from this area. The remaining 29 corporators were elected from Hadapsar and Khadakwasla constituencies. Compared to the number of MLAs of Congress and NCP, the number of votes polled by Congress is more than that of NCP. In Pune LS constituency, the strength of BJP is more than that of Congress and NCP. If there is a straight contest between BJP and its allies versus MVA, the contest will be a close fought affair. The BJP may give the ticket to someone from late MP Girish Bapat’s family. The city unit of NCP and former mayor Prashant Jagtap has expressed his desire to contest the election. From the Congress, former MLA Mohan Joshi, Rohit Tilak, former mayor Deepak Mankar and former minister Ramesh Bagwe are trying to bolster their strength. From BJP, former MLA Medha Kulkarni, former mayor Murlidhar Mohol, city unit chief Jagdish Mulik and Bapat’s daughter-in-law Swarada Bapat are keen to contest the poll. Meanwhile, from the CEC’s process, it seems that the election is likely to be held by June end. The tenure of the MP will be only a couple of months and hence, less number of people are interested in contesting the election.
(POLITICAL RESEARCH & ANALYSIS BUREAU (PRAB) PUNE)
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