Pune: Shivaji Mankar has a vast network of friends and relatives across the city, to seek ticket from BJP for Lok Sabha polls

Pune: All parties are bracing for Lok Sabha elections. Hectic lobbying is on by aspirants for getting tickets from their respective parties. Former mayor Murlidhar Mohol, former MPs Sanjay Kakade and Sunil Deodhar are seen as strong contenders from the BJP.

Now, another influential aspirant from the city, Shivaji Madhavrao Mankar, has openly expressed his ambition to contest the LS polls. This has given a new twist to the developments on the political front in the city.

The BJP has made things simpler by sending Medha Kulkarni to the Rajya Sabha. Now, it will be interesting to see who gets the party ticket for the Lok Sabha from among Mohol, Kakade, Deodhar and Mankar.

Since the Brahmin community has got representation in the form of Kulkarni, Deodhar’s chances appear dim. The remaining aspirants belong to the Maratha community. Mankar has a huge network of relatives and friends in all six assembly constituencies in the city.

Sivaji Mankar’s strength

Shivaji Mankar is the brother of Deepak Mankar, who is the City Unit President of NCP led by Ajit Pawar. Shivaji Mankar hails from Narayan Peth and has good relations with hundreds of people in the heart of the city.

He has family relations with influential politicians from the six assembly constituencies in the city. Among Mankar’s relatives are the Balwadkars from Balewadi, Bandal-Sutar from Kothrud, the Mankars from Kasba Peth, the Kadams from Parvati, the Galandes from Vadgaon Dhayari, the Pathares from Vadgaon Sheri, the Tingres from Vishrantwadi, the Bahirats from Shivajinagar and the Nimhans from Pashan. Thus, he is likely to garner most of the votes from these areas.

Shivaji Mankar expressed confidence that his friends and relatives from the six assembly constituencies will stand firmly behind him if he is given the ticket by the BJP. Thus, he stands a better chance than the other aspirants.

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