Aspirants eye Bapat’s Kasba assembly seat

ST CORRESPONDENT 
Sunday, 26 May 2019

The BJP persisted with Bapat in Kasba. Now, aspirants are happy that the seat will get a new face

Pune: Aspirants have started lobbying for the Kasba Peth Assembly constituency after sitting MLA Girish Bapat won the Lok Sabha election. 

At present, there are six party leaders in the race but they have not openly expressed their wish to succeed Bapat.

A day after he won the Pune Lok Sabha seat with a record margin of over 3.24 lakh votes, the newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) Girish Bapat said that he will resign from his post as MLA. 

After this announcement by Bapat, the race between aspirants awaiting to contest upcoming State Assembly polls has heated up. 

Kasba is a stronghold of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Bapat, a five-term MLA, has been representing the constituency since 1995. The BJP persisted with Bapat in Kasba. Now, aspirants are happy that the seat will get a new face. 

At present, Mayor Mukta Tilak, former Standing Committee chairman Ganesh Bidkar, Dheeraj Ghate, senior corporator Hemant Rasane, Ashok Yenpure and city president Yogesh Gogawale are in the race to succeed Bapat. 

Tilak, Rasane and Yenpure are representing Shaniwar Peth-Sadashiv Peth area. Bidkar is a co-opted corporator, who is close to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Yenpure is a senior corporator and a Bapat follower. 

On the other hand, BJP ‘s city President Yogesh Gogawale is also a strong contender. He was interested in contesting for the Lok Sabha election. However, the party did not consider his candidature. Now, there is speculation that the party may offer Kasba Peth assembly seat to him. 

One of the aspirants, on condition of anonymity, said, “After Bapat’s win, a major hurdle is gone. Now, we can stake claim for Kasba Peth seat in coming assembly polls. Till date, we wouldn’t get a chance even to express our feelings. I won’t criticise Bapat because he has done good work. But, now, there is need for a new face from the party in the Kasba Peth constituency.”

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