Pune: Chaos at Pimpri-Chinchwad Election Office as CM Eknath Shinde Departs Without Addressing Supporters

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Varad Bhatkhande

Pimpri Chinchwad, 22nd April 2024: On Monday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde visited Pimpri-Chinchwad city to file the nomination of Mahayuti candidate Shrirang Barane from Maval. A large crowd of activists gathered at the Election Office, expecting the Chief Minister to address them. Media personnel were also present. However, due to overcrowding and insufficient police management, Chief Minister Shinde arrived and departed without making any remarks, leaving the activists greatly disappointed.

In the Maval constituency, a direct contest is anticipated between Mahayuti’s Barne and Mahavikas Aghadi’s candidate Sanjog Waghere. Barne’s nomination was filed on Monday at the Election Returning Officer’s office located on the seventh floor of the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) building in Akurdi. Security fences were erected along both sides of the road leading to the office, with access initially restricted to a few individuals. However, as ministers and candidates entered to submit their application forms, Mahayuti supporters gathered at the office gate. After the completion of the application process around 12:30, Chief Minister Shinde’s convoy exited the gate. Activists greeted the Chief Minister with slogans, to which he acknowledged from the car window, but left without addressing them, disappointing the gathered supporters.

Activists were prohibited from approaching within 100 meters of the Election Returning Officer’s office, but Mahayuti supporters managed to enter and chant slogans without permission, with no intervention from the police.

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissionerate (PCPC) had made extensive arrangements in the vicinity of the Election Returning Officer’s office, including closing all shops in the area. However, these plans were disrupted by the gathering of Mahayuti activists.

Maval Lok Sabha election decision officer Deepak Singla said, “The police should have taken proper precautions to avoid coming within 100 meters. It is not my responsibility. Only five people came to my room to fill out the application form. However, notices will be given to the police regarding any violation of rules.”

Barne’s Nomination: Leaders Rally Support

MP Shrirang Barne of Maval led a grand procession from Khandoba Mal Chowk in Akurdi to file his nomination for the Lok Sabha elections, with the presence of CM Eknath Shinde, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, and other prominent leaders. The procession, adorned with saffron symbols and flags, included activists from six assembly constituencies. Slogans supporting Barne and the coalition were chanted, emphasising significant backing for his candidacy.

Shrirang Appa Barne, the current MP of Maval and candidate of the Mahayuti for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections said, “There are MLAs of the Mahayuti in all the six assembly constituencies of the Maval Lok Sabha constituency. Citizens of the country feel that Narendra Modi should become the Prime Minister again. Therefore, we believe that in this election, we will break our record of vote share in 2019.”