Shiv Sena MLA Gautam Chabukswar is confident of re-election, highlighting good work done by him in five years, while Anna Bansode claims he would win as the NCP brought good tidings for Pimpri-Chinchwad when the party was in power
Sitting Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Gautam Chabukswar from Pimpri has always gone through tough electoral battles in his 33-year political career. But this time the Shiv Sena MLA is quite certain that the fight will be easy, especially when he is fielded against his old Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) opponent, Anna Bansode.
Bansode, the sitting MLA from 2009-14, lost the last Assembly election to Chabukswar by 2,335 votes.
Although none of them are from any political families, both have significant experience of battling it out in the polls. In 1986, Chabukswar won as an Independent corporator when he was just 25. Starting work in 1982 as Samajwadi Party member, Chabukswar won the 1992 municipal election on a Congress ticket. Only once in 2007, he lost a ward-level poll, that too by only five votes. “This happened as the ward was reserved for OBC and due to the change in seat, I lost.
Later in 2012 I won as a Congress candidate in the municipal election,” said Chabukswar. At present, the Pimpri Assembly constituency is reserved for candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes (SC).
In 1997, Bansode contested corporation election and got elected on a Congress ticket, which was given by Congress leader late Ramkrushna More. He joined NCP in 2002 and contested civic elections successfully that year and in 2007 as well. “I have been a corporator f or straight 15 years, and that too from three different wards,” said Bansode, who has been standing committee chairman too. In 2009, Bansode contested the Assembly elections from Pimpri as an NCP candidate and won. This time, he is confident to win as the margin was negligible in 2014.
On his part, advocate Chabukswar is confident to win in his life’s 11th election. The Pimpri constituency has a mixture of voters belonging to different communities and economic classes. While there are several slums in the area like Dapodi, Chinchwad, Pimpri and Akurdi, the areas have high-rises too. “What I’ve done in the past five years could have easily taken 10 years to complete. On basis of this, I am requesting voters to re-elect me. This time the entire support of all major parties like BJP, RPI and Shiv Sena is for me,” said Chabukswar, who also teaches the Pali language in Savitribai Phule Pune University.
Chabukswar claimed that he has helped more than 2,000 migrants of Pimpri to get their properties regularised. Even more than 5,000 houses in the Shau Nagar and Sambhaji Nagar have been registered. He also took credit for a separate police commissionerate for Pimpri-Chinchwad. A major help to residents of Bopkhel was done because of Sena and BJP, as Chabukswar claimed to have followed up with the defence ministry to get the bridge completed.
On the other hand, Bansode claimed all major projects that have been completed in the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) area are because of NCP only. Most of the projects were sanctioned during the NCP’s tenure and in just two-three years the entire government has failed. “I am asking the Sena and BJP people to let me know what project they brought for the PCMC. They have not even brought any funds from the Central or state. Whatever development has happened was started by us and now they are only carrying out the inauguration ceremonies,” said Bansode.
There are several dream projects that Chabukswar has been thinking to bring if he gets elected. “I want to first clean the Pavana river and it’s my dream project. I also want to start a new collectorate, a jail for undertrials in the PCMC area, rehabilitation of slums by making it a smart Assembly constituency.
There will be no slum and land in Moshi has been identified where houses will be constructed for rehabilitation of slums across 100 acres. To combat traffic problem, we will build flyovers and disciplined markets in Pimpri,” said Chabukswar.
Having several slums in his area, Bansode claimed he has been helping more than thousands of families in marriages and gifting them all utensils and other materials. For students, he has been providing books, bags and educational materials for almost everyone from Class 10 to undergrads for more than eight years. “For women, I have started free driving classes which helped more than five lakh. Several computer training programmes for youths were started by me in Pimpri and Chinchwad,” said Bansode. “I am asking people to decide their candidate and vote them on basis of the work they have done. The voter has to check the image and evaluate the work of the candidate and only then vote. I want to build pucca houses for the poor and it’s my dream project,” he added.