PUNE: Bickerings within the Pimpri Chinchwad unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) erupted again as loyalists have raised a banner of rebellion.
The party loyalists have launched a hunger strike to protest against alleged discrimination against them during the selection of co-opted members on the Ward Committees. Banners that have been put by the protesters, which read ‘Loyalists have no hope.’
Batting for the loyalists in his party, Ajay Patade, Chief, BJP, Nigdi-Chikhali circle, said, “The party is preferring newcomers to loyalists. The loyalists contributed to the party’s victory in the last civic elections. Hence, the leadership must consider their contribution and not expect them to do sacrifices all the time.”
There were 121 candidates in the fray for the co-opted membership on the Ward Committees. Out of these, 24 were elected. As expected, the supporters of MLA Jagtap and MLA Mahesh Landge were chosen for the seats. The ruling BJP dominates in the eight municipal wards. Therefore, it was expected that the BJP candidates would be elected as co-opted members.
However, there was a tug of war during the selection of candidates. Since the Ward Committees are involved in taking vital decisions at the ward level, this election assumes significance.
During the last municipal elections, the loyal party workers, who were denied party tickets, were assured that they would get an opportunity to serve on the Ward Committees. However, they did not get preference this time also. Hence, they have launched the indefinite hunger strike at the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Chowk in Pimpri.
A ward - Rajesh Sawant, Sunil Kadam and Rajendra Kamble
B ward - Bibhishan Chaudhary, Vitthal Bhoir and Devidas Patil
C ward - Sagar Hingane, Vaishali Khade and Gopikrishna Dhavde
D ward - Chandrakant Bhavankar, Sandeep Nakhate and Mahesh Jagtap
E ward - Ajit Burde, Sadhna Tapkir and Vijay Lande
F ward - Dinesh Yadav, Santosh Bhausaheb More and Pandurang Gulab Bhalekar
G ward - Sandeep Gade, Vinod Tapkir and Gopal Malekar
H ward - Kunal Landge, Sanjay Kanse and Aniket Kate