By Vikas Vaidya
Every party is gearing up for the upcoming municipal polls likely to be held by February 2022. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is in power for the last almost 15 years. But unlike in last election the situation this time is very different. Three parties - Congress, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Shiv Sena (SS) have formed the Government in State and are contesting most elections together. It must have compelled BJP to contemplate, rethink its strategy, revisit its own agendas. Some people say, BJP in some pockets has lost its connect with the citizens. Their corporators are not paying much attention to citizens’ problems. But Mayor Dayashankar Tiwari and MLC and BJP city President Pravin Datke have refused the charge. According to both, it is BJP who has not lost its touch with people even in pandemic.
“Be it the issue of lockdown when people lost jobs, it was BJP who provided them food. In second wave when bed occupancy became a big issue, it was BJP who reached to people and made beds available to them. The issues like oxygen, remedesivir injections cropped up and then our leaders like Nitin Gadkari, Devendra Fadnavis came forward. Now the issue of vaccination was well dealt by BJP. People of other parties too have availed benefits of our vaccination campaigns and we too did not mind the same,” explained Dayashankar Tiwari, Mayor.
The 2.5 years were divided into two-- in one half Sandip Joshi was Mayor while the remaining 1.25 years, it is Dayashankar Tiwari on whose shoulders responsibility was bestowed. Tiwari’s tenure would have an impact on the BJP’s prospects in upcoming corporation elections.
According to Datke, BJP corporators have never taken power into their heads. “Our leaders Gadkari, Fadnavis have been telling us, for every member, the party is important. Our party has unique characteristic according to which we assume importance to the party and not the leader. Not having our Government in State remained a big challenge as we could not fulfill certain promises despite having funds. But we kept fighting for the justice of people. We have completed most work and we will bank on those,” pointed out Datke. Both Datke and Tiwari don’t feel major challenges in ward reconstruction. Both are not over confident but have full faith in them that BJP would come to power. Both are not sure that Mahavikas Aaghadi would contest joining hands.
Nana Patole, State President of Maharashra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) have already declared that it would want to go for polls singlehandedly. Sena and NCP too are talking the language of contesting polls independently. Despite what other parties are doing, BJP is doing good work in health and education. During the regime of Tiwari, under Atal Netrajyoti it wants to conduct free eye surgeries, it has taken a decision to have 75 Vande Mataram hospitals, it is transforming its own schools.
“We are aiming at 50% plus votes in any circumstances. We don’t feel MVA will contest jointly but our preparedness is very high. We are focussing on ourselves. We don’t care what other parties are doing. We only know that we would again come to power as people of this city will be with us, “ asserted Dayashankar Tiwari.