As the next mayor in Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) will be a woman candidate from the open category, the ruling party, BJP, is likely to select one of its 10-15 women corporators from open category wards across the city.
“After the draw of lots, it has been decided that the mayoral candidate will be from the open category,” said municipal secretary Ulhas Jagtap on Wednesday.
The term of current Pimpri-Chinchwad Mayor, Rahul Jadhav, ends on November 21, and the city’s new mayor will be elected on the same day.
Though the mayoral post this time is reserved for open category women candidates, even women from reserved category can vie for it, said civic officials.
Eight women corporators from BJP are being considered as front-runners for the post, including Zamabai Barne from Thergaon, Sujata Palande from Sant Tukaram Nagar-Kasarwadi, Bhima Phuge from Bhosari, Nirmala Gaikwad from Dighi, Aarti Choundhe from Pimple Nilakh, Usha Dhore from Sangvi, Sarika Borade from Moshi and Jayshree Gaikwad from Chinchwad, said BJP leaders.
BJP corporator Anuradha Gorkhe, a reserved category corporator, said she was also one of the claimants for the post.
Zamabai Barne is the senior-most corporator among the lot and she has served in the PCMC four times. Jayshree Gawade and Mai Dhore are in their third terms as corporators.
“I was first elected in 1992. Then I had become the deputy mayor. However, I could not contest the election twice,” said Barne. “After serving as the deputy mayor... I didn’t get any other post. This time, I hope the party will make me the mayor,” she said.
Jamatai was elected as an independent corporator. “But I was sponsored by the BJP,” she said.
In Pimpri-Chinchwad, the decision about the mayoral candidate is taken jointly by the camps of BJP MLAs Laxman Jagtap (Chinchwad) and Mahesh Landge (Bhosari). The outgoing mayor Rahul Jadhav is from the Landge camp and given their mutual agreement, this time, the Jagtap camp will decide the mayor. “It is up to Laxman Jagtap. If he decides to name the candidate for the mayor’s post, then we should get the standing committee chief’s post,” said Kartik Landge, brother of Mahesh Landge.
Jagtap said he has not made up his mind about the mayoral candidate. “I am also considering whether women from reserved category should be selected,” he said. “So far, nothing is final,” he added.