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News Entry# 289301
  
Dec 21 2016 (15:42)  NCP, BJP battle over Pune Metro inauguration (www.thehindu.com)
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PoliticsPMRC/Pune Metro  -  

News Entry# 289301     
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Posted by: rdb*^  129373 news posts
Sparks fly ahead of Modi’s visit to Pune on December 24
Pune: With elections to the cash-rich Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) looming on the horizon, a political tug-of-war has erupted between the Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of PrimeN Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city on December 24 to lay the foundation stone of the Pune Metro Rail project.
The NCP, which controls the PMC, has passed a resolution that the foundation stone would be laid by their party president Sharad Pawar. The PMC chief and
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NCP leader Prashant Jagtap said on Tuesday that Mr. Pawar would inaugurate the Pune Metro Rail on December 23 at 11 a.m., ahead of the PM’s visit to the city on December 24.
The BJP’s recent success in the Maharashtra civic polls have rattled the NCP and it’s erstwhile alliance partner, Congress. Mr. Pawar’s party is struggling to retain control of the PMC and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation, which go to polls in February next year. A spate of defection of local NCP leaders has also contributed to the party’s worries.
“Merely by virtue of being in power, the BJP is engaging in a game of petty political one-upmanship,” Mr. Jagtap said, accusing the BJP of “attempting to appropriate credit” for the project and thereby presenting a wrong picture before the public.
Mr. Jagtap added that invitations would be sent out to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, Congress State president Ashok Chavan, and Republican Party of India (A) chief Ramdas Athawale to attend the function.
The NCP’s salvo comes in the wake of Mr. Fadnavis’ visit to the city on Monday, which saw the Chief Minister rebuke the erstwhile Congress-NCP coalition for “utterly failing” to resolve Pune’s urban problems.
“A number of major issues faced by the people, including kick-starting the Metro project, had been resolved by the BJP government,” Mr. Fadnavis had said, adding that it was the BJP that had brought this project to fruition. “There has been no development in Pune during the last 15 years. The promises to tackle traffic problems remained mere announcements,” he said.
Mr. Fadnavis also announced an elaborate plan for developing a Metro network throughout the city over the next five years, which would be integrated with the bus service system to resolve the problem of the city’s shoddy public transport.
Doubting the the competence of the previous coalition, Mr. Fadnavis said that Maharashtra’s rivers had transformed into ‘drains’ and that the ruling government was planning to undertake a major work of river restoration with the help of a Rs. 900 crore soft loan sanctioned by the Centre.
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