Pune: Top guns of political parties in
Maharashtra combed out the city and suburbs in the last few
days as the campaigning for February 16 election to Pune and
Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporations came to an end Tuesday
For Congress, which is fighting the polls here without
joining hands with the coalition partner NCP, the Chief
Minister Prithviraj Chavan led the campaign, while Union
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar urged people to give an
absolute majority to NCP in the 152-member house of Pune
Municipal Corporation (PMC).
Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray, who
released joint manifesto of Sena-BJP- RPI alliance, held a
rally in the city during the campaign where he lambasted
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, guardian minister of Pune
district, for the ills plaguing the city, holding the five-yr
NCP rule in PMC responsible for unfinished developmental
The issues that dominated the campaign included execution
of Pune Metro project and its feasibility, traffic woes, an
inefficient public transport, water supply and an eroding tree
cover and high levels of pollution.
The political heat generated during the campaign saw all
the parties trading charges and counter-charges, with NCP
chief Sharad Pawar taunting BJP for the "porngate" in
Karnataka assembly, and BJP-Sena-RPI leaders targeting Ajit
Pawar for his "arrogant" style of functioning. Congress put up
a brave front, fighting the election in the absence of city MP
Suresh Kalmadi, who has been suspended from the party in the
wake of the CWG scam.
Chief Minister Chavan said Congress was confident of
mustering a majority, but also hinted at possibility of
post-poll understanding with NCP if the elections threw up a
hung house, to keep "communal" forces away from power.