Pandemic slowdown “concerns” ruling BJP with polls scheduled early next year
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is in power in the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is staring at poll-bound difficulties with elections fast approaching early next year.
Most of the planned development work was hampered due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Recently, mayor Murlidhar Mohol chaired a meeting of all department heads to take a review of the development works and plan an inauguration according to projects.
The civic polls are scheduled during the month of February next year with all political parties including the BJP, NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena beginning preparations and gathering information of development work which was carried out in the last four years by the elected representatives of respective organisations.
A ruling party with 98 seats in the PMC, the BJP has started collecting information of development works in the last four years in PMC so that they can mention the completed work in the party’s manifesto. It will also help BJP corporators to make ward wise report cards of the development work. The code of conduct may be imposed in December 2021. So, there are roughly 10 months for preparation.
Due to Covid-19, the PMC has taken decisions to cut down on the budget as per state government directives. So, there will be only a 40 per cent budget available to corporators in their ward development funds.
In the last four years, Bhama-Askhed water project and Atal Bihari Vajpayee medical college are two major city level projects on which BJP can take political advantage in the upcoming civic polls.
The Bhama-Askhed project has already been completed and inaugurated by BJP leaders. Now, the BJP is pursuing the Atal Bihari Vajpayee medical college to start in the coming days.
In the meeting with the mayor, all head of departments reported the progress, completion of projects, the status of works, starting new development work and projects to Mohol.
Members of private agencies were present in the meeting to note information related to development.
Mohol said, “The purpose of the meeting was to take a review of the development work and projects in the BJP tenure, we are going to contest civic polls next year. So, we are gathering progress of works which we can tell people in the civic polls. The Bhama-Askhed water project, improving of public transport by adding new buses, the opening of the Atal Bihari Vajpayee medical college, the progress on the Chandani chowk project, metro project, 24x7 water projects are some of the achievements.”
He added, “Covid-19 affected development work. Most of the project and development work was on halt during the pandemic. This year’s budget is also going to be hit due to the financial crunch. Overall, two years – the Covid-19 year which was 2020 and the post-Covid year which is 2021 has been shattered in terms of the development of the city.”