APMC poll: NCP rebels steal show, BJP-backed panel wins

Rebel candidates of NCP managed to steal the show over the official candidates in the elections of Pune Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC), the results of which were declared on Saturday. The Pune APMC saw elections being conducted after 20 years. Sarva Pakshiya Annasaheb Magar Shetkari Vikas Panel, which was supported by the BJP, won 13 of the 18 directorships while the NCP-backed Annasaheb Magar Cooperative Panel won just 5.

Since the start, two clear divisions were seen in NCP with regards to the elections of the APMC. Political scientist and polestar Chandrakant Bhujbal said this election showed that the party now has two clear leaderships viz the old guards and the young turks. NCP ‘s district president Pradeep Garatkar had led the party-supported panel while Vikas Dangat, director of Pune District Central Cooperative Bank and Rohidas Undre, BJP’s Haveli president led the rebel panel. Dangat’s decision to rebel against the party had attracted strictures from Garatkar who had suspended Dangat from the party. However, Dangat had challenged the suspension questioning the former’s jurisdiction over him.

The APMC elections, like those of other cooperative bodies, are held among registered members of the body. Thus, gram panchayats, primary agricultural credit societies, unions of head loaders and weighment, traders and commission agents elect directors from themselves. Thus, of the 18 posts of directors, gram panchayats and primary agricultural credit societies elect 15 directors while the rest elect three. The directors in turn elect the chairman among them. Pune APMC was one of the 255 such cooperative bodies which had gone for polls on Friday and results were declared on Saturday. In the case of Pune, the fight was between the official NCP-backed panel and the all-party panel which mainly had rebel NCP leaders which was backed by BJP, which is seeking to make its presence felt in these cooperative bodies.

NCP’s official panel, Bhujbal and others said, were stacked with senior leaders who have been calling the shots since long. The younger leadership, who had risen in the meantime, also wanted a piece of the pie and thus decided to rebel. “The funny part of the whole election is that even Dangat said that they would follow the advise of Sharad Pawar, Supriya Sule and Ajit Pawar when it comes to the election of chairman,” Bhujbal pointed out.

The elections also saw senior labour leader Dr Baba Adhav failing to get his candidate elected and senior commission agents like Vilas Bhujbal also failing to keep their directorship. “If anything, the elections showed that divide in NCP and the emergence of a younger rung of capable leadership,” said a party insider.


  • Adam Gray

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