The post, currently with Kothrud MLA Chandrakant Patil of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), may go to deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar who is now Patil’s senior in the state cabinet. Pawar has been one of the longest-serving guardian ministers of Pune.
Patil became Pune’s guardian minister after the change in the state government in 2022. Pawar was holding the post during the tenure of MVA for nearly two and a half years from 2019, chairing important meetings in the Covid period.
Former MP Girish Bapat, who was in the state assembly from 2014 to 2019, was the guardian minister of Pune.
BJP workers in the city are apprehensive while NCP workers are excited about an expected change in guard. A senior BJP leader from the city said that though NCP is now with the BJP in the state, its leaders in the city will try to reap the maximum benefits if Pawar becomes guardian minister. Other BJP leaders added that the party has a clear majority and a good hold over the city as well as the district. It has single-handedly called the shots in PMC and PCMC, where it had the absolute majority.
“Our party has dominated the decision-making in Pune for a decade. We could reduce the dominance of NCP and Congress largely in the city But, if Pawar gains the guardian minister’s post, it will give NCP a chance to regain its might,” a BJP leader said.