BJP Is Not Quite A Shoo-in In Kothrud

Prajakta Joshi
Friday, 18 October 2019

Considered to be a safe haven for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the voters in Kothrud were divided over whether or not they feel neglected by their sitting MLA. 

Pune: Considered to be a safe haven for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the voters in Kothrud were divided over whether or not they feel neglected by their sitting MLA. 

While BJP giving candidacy in Kothrud to Pune’s Guardian Minister Chandrakant Patil from Kolhapur in preference over sitting MLA Medha Kulkarni stirred controversy in the area, most Kothrudkars now seem to have accepted Patil for the sake of their favourite political party. “Kothrud is one of the best areas in the city to live. We don’t really have dire issues pertaining to basic amenities like traffic, electricity or water. Yes, several people were upset over the selection of Patil, but for us, BJP coming to power is more important,” said Balasaheb Suryawanshi, who runs a vegetable shop in Kothrud.

However, while BJP supporters have expressed hope that Patil has been selected in the best interests of the constituency. 

“Patil does not know or understand Kothrud. He might now know some of the main spots in the constituency, but would he know the nooks and corners in the area as a local person would? Moreover, he has several other responsibilities in the party. How will he resolve our issues,” questioned Santosh Wargade, a resident of Jaibhavani Nagar in Kothrud.

These are the areas that Suryawanshi said would be the ones where the candidate of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Kishor Shinde, to whom Congress-NCP has extended its support, will get his votes from.

Roads and traffic woes
While traffic system on Paud Road has been disrupted since the last couple of years due to the ongoing work of Pune Metro, it’s the condition of most internal roads that worries the residents. “The small road in Rambaug colony where I have my home and shop is being dug out part by part since the past six months. It has affected the transport in this area as well as the business of our shops adversely,” said a resident of Rambaug Colony Suhas Bongale.

He added, “Our lane has become highly risky for the past few months, and several accidents have already taken place. The pits dug up are not covered or guarded.”

The roads in Mayur Colony area too have been under concretisation for a long time now. “I understand that it takes time as the road has to be constructed in phases, but it has been more than a couple of years since the work is going on, and we are fed up. And it’s not just the construction. The roads and the dustbins on them do not get cleaned until the citizens intervene and complain several times. Some housing societies are clean and beautiful, whereas others continue to be neglected. I am sure whom we vote, the situation would be unchanged,” said a resident of Mayur Colony, on condition of anonymity.
Activist and resident of Baner Vaishali Patkar pointed out, “People in Baner suffer the problems of traffic and parking due to encroachments. We have been complaining regarding the encroachments on footpaths as well as roadsides, but hardly any action was taken by the administration.”

About the  constituency

  • Sitting MLA - Medha Kulkarni 
  • Tenure - 5 years 
  • Opposition Shiv Sena candidate in 2014 - Chandrakant Mokate 
  • Development work
  • Chandni Chowk flyover 
  • Metro project started 
  • Redevelopment of old societies 
  • Unresolved issues 
  • Traffic problems on various roads 
  • PMC’s shiv srushti project work

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