Pune: With the Lok Sabha elections only 11 months’ away, the by-election for the Pune seat highly unlikely, said political leaders. The seat fell vacant after Member of Parliament (MP) Girish Bapat’s passed away on May 29, and the Election Commission of India (ECI) is yet to taken a decision on polls since the last more than 70 days.
Chandrapur-Wani-Arni constituency Congress MP Balu alias Suresh Dhanorkar died in New Delhi on May 30.
A senior BJP leader who was minister in the Union cabinet had hinted that as only a year has left for the general elections, the election commission is unlikely to take a call whether to hold by-election for Pune and other two places in the country.
Chandrashekhar Bawankule, BJP state unit president, said, “Our party is always prepared for the election. The poll body will take a call whether to conduct it or not.”
Another senior BJP leader on condition of anonymity said, “The BJP itself is not eager for bypoll given the party’s poor performance during the recently held Kasba by-election, and it fears losing the Pune seat also.”
Mohan Joshi, Congress party’s vice-president, said, “The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is ready for the Pune by-election as the Congress has been traditionally contesting it. “
The veteran political leader said that the Congress winning the Karnataka and Kasba polls has changed the voters’ mindset and they feel cheated by the BJP’s false promises.