Pune: Aspirants from both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress have started conducting get-togethers to assemble followers on the background of upcoming Lok Sabha elections. BJP MP Anil Shirole has started his activity with dinner diplomacy.
Last week, Congress leader and MLC Anant Gadgil Gadgil organised lectures by IT experts in Kasba Peth so that party workers can be active on social media to tackle BJP's social media cell. After Suresh Kalmadi, former Congress MP was caught in corruption charges, the city Congress is not still united. Though, Ramesh Bagwe, a hardcore follower of Kalmadi got the responsibility of the city unit, no substantial changes were seen. Congress leaders are occasionally seen in Congress House.
After Kalmadi received a major setback on corruption allegations in Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG), Vishwajeet Kadam tried to fill the vacuum. But, Congress party leaders did not accept him as a successor of Kalmadi.
When contacted, Gadgil was not available for comment.
However, one of the senior leaders of Congress said, “Earlier, Gadgil hasn't conducted any activity for the party in Pune. But recently he organised 'Snehabhojan' on his birthday. I think he is interested in Lok Sabha elections from the Congress party. He is a senior leader of the party in Pune city.”
BJP MP Anil Shirole conducted 'snehbhojan' and started dinner diplomacy to gather his followers to retain his seat as Pune District Guardian Minister Girish Bapat also wants to get a ticket from BJP in Pune city to contest Lok Sabha polls. Bapat and Shirole don't have a healthy relationship as Bapat was against giving a ticket to Shirole's son Siddharth in civic elections. Now, Shirole is going closer to BJP supported MP Sanjay Kakade and trying to build up supporters in the city.
Bapat and Kakade have differences as in 24x7 water supply project tender process, solid waste by-laws and comprehensive bicycle plan. Kakade complained to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis about decisions at the corporation level.
When asked about Lok Sabha polls, Shirole laughed and said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said only do work and don't expect anything. On that line, I am working. About, my 'Snehabhojan', it is a routine programme that I organise every year.”