Pimpri: Even as the BJP is grappling with the issue of reservation for the Maratha community, the leaders of Mali, another dominant community in the state, has demanded selection of a Mali candidate as the mayor for Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC).
The leaders have warned that the BJP will have to face consequences in the polls if the community’s demand is ignored.
The leaders of the Mali community made this demand at a press conference held here. The press conference was attended by corporator Sweenal Mhetre, Ashwini Jadhav, former corporators Suresh Mhetre, Ajay Saykar and Sunil Lokhande.
The mayoral post has fallen vacant, following resignation by Nitin Kalje. The post is presently reserved for a candidate of Other Backward Class (OBC). Kalje was elected to the post on the basis of his Kunbi caste certificate.
The Mali community leaders said that during the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party’s regimes, three women corporators Anita Pharance, Aparna Doke and Vaishali Ghodekar, belonging to the Mali caste, were elected as the city’s mayors. The leaders said that it is hoped that the BJP, present ruling party in the PCMC, will also give justice to the Mali community which has nearly two lakh voters in the city.
The Mali leaders said that the community in the city played an important role in bringing the BJP to power in the city also in the State. They said the community was disappointed when the BJP selected Nitin Kalje as mayor when the post was reserved for the OBC category.
The Mali community will plan its strategy if its demand is ignored by the BJP, the leaders said.