Pimpri Chinchwad: BJP and RPI Clash Over Assembly Seat, Escalating Mahayuti Tensions

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Pimpri, 19th June 2024: Tensions within Mahayuti are escalating. Following disputes in the Chinchwad and Bhosari Assembly Constituencies, a new conflict has arisen over the Pimpri Assembly Constituency. Both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Republican Party of India–Athawale (RPI) claim the right to contest this seat. Currently, Mahayuti leader Anna Bansode from Ajit Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) holds the position of MLA in Pimpri.

Approximately two weeks ago, the Lok Sabha results were declared, and since then, the political atmosphere in Maharashtra has been charged with the upcoming Maharashtra Legislative Assembly elections. All parties have begun their preparations for these elections. Concerns are being raised about potential disputes between Mahayuti and Mahavikas Aghadi regarding seat allocations. It is expected that Mahayuti and Mahavikas Aghadi will directly contest each other in these elections. Internal rifts within Mahayuti are visible in the constituencies of Pimpri, Chinchwad, and Bhosari.

BJP and RPI both have their sights set on the Pimpri Assembly Constituency, a stronghold of the Ajit Pawar-led NCP. Chandrakanta Sonkamble of RPI has stated that if Mahayuti wishes to avoid the disappointment seen in the Lok Sabha elections, they should allocate the Pimpri Assembly seat to RPI. On the other hand, the BJP claims that during the Maval Lok Sabha elections, the Pimpri MLA did not adhere to Mahayuti’s strategy, resulting in Shrirang Barne’s victory due to BJP’s support. Amit Gorakhe of BJP has asserted their claim to the Pimpri Assembly Constituency seat.

Amidst this, MLA Anna Bansode is increasingly concerned but has reaffirmed his intention to contest the election from this seat again.

Union Minister and RPI chief Ramdas Athawale remarked, “In the Lok Sabha elections, we did not get to contest even a single seat. Yet, we campaigned diligently for every candidate. RPI played a significant role in Mahayuti winning 17 Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra. Therefore, Mahayuti should allocate us 8-10 seats to contest in the upcoming Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Elections.” Athawale made these remarks at a private event in Lonavala. Athawale’s statements have added complexity to the already contentious issue of seat allocation within Mahayuti.