PUNE: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) candidate in the Kasba assembly constituency will decide the fate of candidates in Kothrud and Parvati constituencies. According to party sources, if Mayor Mukta Tilak gets the party ticket from Kasba, incumbent MLAs Medha Kulkarni from Kothrud or Madhuri Misal from Parvati will have a thin chance. Therefore, new faces are expected to be fielded from the Kothrud and Parvati constituencies.
Following Girish Bapat’s election to the Lok Sabha, the Kasba assembly seat is available for other aspirants in the BJP. Bapat had been representing the Kasba seat as a MLA for the past 25 years. Now, party aspirants are happy that they can stake their claim on Kasba. Mayor Mukta Tilak, BJP city unit secretary Ganesh Bidkar, MP Girish Bapat’s daughter-in-law Swarada, Corporator Hemant Rasane and former corporator Ashok Yenpure are among some strong contenders.
Tilak has a better chance of getting the party ticket as compared to other aspirants. Swarada Bapat may be denied the ticket due to allegations of dynasty politics, said party sources. There is speculation in the party that if Ganesh Bidkar gets the ticket, Congress candidate Ravindra Dhangekar has a strong chance of getting elected as Bapat and Bidkar are rivals within the party.
Two women candidates were elected in the last assembly elections, Misal and Kulkarni. Now, if Tilak gets a chance from Kasba, BJP may not repeat Kulkarni or Misal, said the sources.
MLA Misal, Leader of House in PMC Shrinath Bhimale, Gopal Chintal and Rajendra Shilimkar are among the aspirants for the Parvati seat. BJP recently appointed Misal as party’s city unit president. According to party sources, this is Misal’s second term as an MLA from Parvati.
In Kothrud, Medha Kulkarni is the sitting MLA. Kulkarni is trying hard to get the ticket for the second time. However, there are 12 aspirants, along with former Standing Committee chairman and corporator Murli Mohol, Rajesh Barate, Sushil Mengde and Amol Balwadkar. Kothrud is a BJP stronghold. There is a sizable Brahmin and Maratha population in the area.
According to sources, BJP is considering fielding a Maratha candidate. BJP may not repeat two sitting women MLAs. Hence, the party is likely to drop one sitting woman MLA and give chance to Tilak from Kasba.