Pune Politics News | BJP makes preparation for LS, assembly and civic polls; Setback likely for Shinde faction of Shiv Sena


PUNE : The Shiv Sena (Shinde group) has received a jolt as its partner BJP has made preparations to contest all seats in Lok Sabha and assembly elections. Because of this decision, like in 2019, when the BJP contested all seats in Pune city, if it again contests from all seats, the Shiv Sena will be in a quandary. If the Uddhav Thackeray group is considered a part of MVA, then it may be able to contest from the Kothrud assembly seat.



After CM Eknath Shinde visited New Delhi recently, he announced that Shiv Sena and BJP will jointly contest forthcoming elections together. In the history of Shiv Sena, for the first time, a pre-poll alliance has been sealed in New Delhi instead of Matoshree. This did not go down well with voters of Shiv Sena. The members of Shinde faction, who want to contest elections are worried as the BJP is making preparations to contest all seats in LS and assembly elections. Till now, central leaders have held meetings to discuss poll strategy in all LS constituencies and now, the implementation of the strategy has been left to local leaders in LS and assembly constituencies. The party has ensured that even if some ticket hopefuls are denied tickets, it will not affect the party’s chances.


The BJP has sent signals that if needed, like in 2014, the party is ready to contest from all seats. In Pune district, senior leaders of Shiv Sena have joined the Shinde faction in Hadapsar, Khadakwasla, Junnar, Ambegaon and Purandar constituencies. Former MP of Shirur has joined the Shinde faction.


In Purandar, the responsibility of the election has been given to Babaraje Jadhavrao and former minister and Shinde group leader Vijay Shivtare has received a jolt. Jadhavrao’s father Dada Jadhavrao was elected from this constituency on Janata Dal ticket and was a minister. Babaraje joined MNS and later BJP. Recently, former MLA and NCP leader Ashok Tekawade joined the BJP. The BJP has made preparations to checkmate Shivtare.


After Shinde left the Shiv Sena, Shiv Sena corporator in PMC Nana Bhangire joined the Shinde faction. He later became the chief of party’s city unit. Earlier also, Bhangire who had contested from Hadapsar constituency on a MNS ticket, had returned to Shiv Sena. Since this constituency was with BJP, he did not get an opportunity in 2019. After joining the Shinde faction, he is hoping to contest from Hadapsar constituency after assuming that the constituency can be reallocated to Shiv Sena as per 2009 seat formula. He is also making preparations to poach some office-bearers of NCP. However, the BJP has handed over the responsibility to former MLA Yogesh Tilekar. Hence, there is little possibility of Bhangire being elected to the assembly.


Ramesh Konde has entered the Shinde group to secure candidature from Khadakwasla constituency. However, the BJP which has won the seat for three consecutive times, has given the responsibility of the constituency to Sachin More. It has asked Rahul Kul to be prepared to contest LS elections. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman who has been given the responsibility of winning Baramati constituency and the party has made it clear that it would not leave the Khadakwasla constituency.



What is unique is that the major part of Hadapsar and Khadakwasla constituencies are in PMC limits and a few thousand voters of Purandar constituency are in PMC limits. Since the BJP has appointed office-bearers by considering the LS, assembly and PMC elections, it appears that the Shinde faction will be on the backfoot.


In 2014, the Shiv Sena had put up candidates from all eight constituencies in the city but the BJP had bagged all the seats and Vijay Shivtare was elected as the only MLA. However, despite being a minister of state, Shivtare had faced defeat in the 2019 elections. In 2014, the number of total votes polled by the Shiv Sena, placed it at the second spot. In the 2019 seat-sharing formula, the BJP staked claim to all eight seats and put up candidates from the areas.


The Shiv Sena could not put up candidates from Kothrud and Hadapsar constituencies. However, after the split in Shiv Sena, the Shiv Sena (UBT Group) can stake claim to Kothrud, Shivaji Nagar and Khadakwasla constituencies. It can be seen from BJP’s gameplan that some supporters of Uddhav Thackeray are thinking of entering the assembly from Pune.


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