Pune: The BJP got an overwhelming majority in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) a little more than a year ago, but the party’s image has started fading due to internal politics and BJP Leader of House Shrinath Bhimale’s behaviour in General Body meetings.
After Bhimale’s notice to Baner-Pashan corporator Amol Balwadkar, a group of corporators has started questioning Bhimale’s working style.
Senior BJP corporator Bapu Karne declared in the recently held General Body meeting that if the administration is not interested in solving issues faced by people, he will have to resign from his post.
On the same lines, Balwadkar expressed his helplessness and told the party that he will have to cast his vote against it. Balwadkar was sent a show cause notice over this issue.
In another instance, Bhimale had openly sided with alleged BJP workers who assaulted an anti-encroachment inspector in his office. Congress Party leader Arvind Shinde was quick to capitalise on the issue. Bhimale and Shinde traded serious allegations and now they have filed police complaints against each other.
These two incidents have taken a serious turn and now there is a whisper among BJP corporators that Bhimale must be replaced.
A BJP corporator, on the condition of anonymity, said, “Despite being a ruling party, we have failed to put pressure on the administration to carry out development works. All this is happening due to weak leadership in the house. Bhimale is not handling the house sensitively and diplomatically. He gets hyper and passes comments without considering the consequences. He used unparliamentary words and this gives the opposition parties an opportunity to criticise the party.”
Another corporator said, “We all are working for the party and raising our voice for people’s problems. If the party is suppressing us, no one will come forward to do public work. It affects the party more than the individual corporator. Now, the time has come to take concrete steps to save the party’s image in the public. After the police complaint, the party’s image has been damaged. It is not limited to Bhimale, but it is related to party as he is BJP’s Leader of House in the corporation and a senior member of the party.”
Yogesh Gogawale, BJP city unit chief, said, “We have taken note of the incidents. Opposition leaders are deliberately doing it for damaging BJP’s image. Our people are also falling prey. We will solve the problem at a party level.”