On February 23 last year, the voters decided to end the 15-year rule of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation and Bharatiya Janata Party, which was considered as a marginal political force, came to power for the first time in the industrial township. BJP’s main election plank was to free politics of the city from the so called ‘Baramati’ influence. Although this purpose was achieved, yet the city seems to be missing Ajit Pawar’s style of functioning - for taking decisions swiftly and single-handedly. The experts say that the ruling party is struggling with multiple power centres and that’s why the decision making process has been slowed down.
Known for making tall promises of effective and transparent governance in the city, BJP needs to improve on the decision making front. However, Mayor Nitin Kalje claimed that he is satisfied with the party’s performance in the civic body. He said, “Many important projects were streamlined in the city.”
Kalje added that the actual work for housing project under Pradhanmantri Awas Yojana will begin soon. Kalje added that the work of Metro is in progress and the waste to energy project is also underway. Kalje claimed that BJP has given justice to newly merged villages awaiting basic amenities for last 20 years.
The leader of the Opposition, Yogesh Behl, contradicted the BJP leader’s views and said, “BJP is a party that believes in making announcements only. During last one year, they inaugurated the projects that NCP had started.” Behl said that there was no action at all in accordance with the tall claims and that BJP has completely failed to deliver in their first year in office.
AJITDADA’S LOYALS RESPONSIBLE FOR BJP WIN
BJP succeeded in dislodging NCP rule with the help of Former NCP leaders from the city who changed their loyalty just before civic polls. By destroying NCP’s bastion, the BJP took over the municipal corporation a year ago. Laxman Jagtap and Mahesh Landge, who were once known as staunch supporters of Ajit Pawar, joined BJP, which proved very costly for the NCP. These two disciples of Ajitdada became the architects of BJP’s victory in PCMC in 2017.
The citizens are dissatisfied with the party’s functioning. The issues of waste, water supply problems are worsening day by day. This has left people thinking that the previous rule was better than this one. The citizens think that there was control over the administration during NCP rule. Now, BJP leaders are unable to make decisions without approval from Mumbai. The power has not delegated the decision making authority to locals to maintain the power equilibrium.
NEWBIES IN CIVIC BODY
Mayor Nitin Kalje could not leave an impact in his tenure as Mayor in last one year. House leader Eknath Pawar could not get hold of the manner in which civic body functions. On many occasions, the ruling party had to adjourn general body as the decision was pending with the party leadership. As compared to this, there was better coordination and floor management in the house during NCP rule. Now, the impression is being created that the ruling party is not allowing the opposition to speak. The first budget of BJP rule in PCMC was passed without any discussion. This has irked the opposition.
ALLEGATIONS AGAINST STANDING COMMITTEE
Several corruption allegations were levelled by the opposition parties about the decisions of the Standing Committee. Not only the opposition but BJP leaders also approached the Chief Minister for inquiry into the matter.
BJP is facing internal conflict as three major factions are competing against each other for controlling the functioning of the civic body. MLA Laxman Jagtap, Mahesh Landge and MP Amar Sabale are competing against each other for establishing a hold over the civic body. The bitter power struggle is adversely affecting the efficiency of the civic body. As a result of this internal rivalry, the post of the Additional Commissioner of the municipal corporation has remained vacant since last five months. Similarly, several posts of assistant commissioners are vacant. Due to this, many officers are forced to take additional charge.