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Maval – No Threat to the NCP Citadel

Tuesday, April 21, 2009, ummid.com Staff Reporter



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Maval: Even as the Election Commission was yet to declare the final schedule of the Parliamentary Election 2009, Ulema in Mumbai had created the stir by demanding to the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) High Commands to nominate Muslim candidates from five constituencies in Maharashtra where there population is more than 30%. However the Cong-NCP High Command did not budge to their persistent demands though they gave party tickets one each to the Muslim candidates.


Very interesting, however, is the fact that the constituency where the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has fielded Azam Pansare, one of the two seats of the total forty-eight in Maharashtra where Cong-NCP combine has given the party tickets to Muslims, has a meager 16-17% Muslim population. Yet NCP is confident of winning the seat with a comfortable margin.


NCP General Secretary Munaf Hakim best describes the reason for this confidence. “The party has not given the party ticket to Azam Pansare merely because he is a Muslim. The fact is Azam Pansare had led the party with various development programs in the region and it is this strength that will win the election for us in Maval”, Munaf says while speaking to ummid.com. Munaf’s assertions may sound like a mere rhetoric of a party in the fray but statistics favor them to a good extent.


Towards the west of Pune district, Maval in the Sahyadri Mountain, one of the biggest range of mountains in Maharashtra, is a new Parliamentary constituency, formed after the recommendations made by the delimitation committee. Besides Khandala and Lonavala, the two most popular hill stations, Pimpri-Chinchawad, Uran and Panvel, the emerging towns in Maharashtra also fall in the same constituency. Pimpri-Chinchawad Municipal Corporation is the only civic body in Maharashtra where Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) is ruling since last ten years. Azam Pansare, currently District President of the Pimpri-Chinchawad NCP unit, had been at almost every corporation post including the Mayorship. During this tenure the areas in and around Pimpri-Chinchawad witnessed a dramatic turnaround and Azam Pansare along with other local NCP leaders was instrumental in bringing the valuable change in the region. The party has also succeeded in building a strong support base by working on the issues pertaining to the poor natives. The slum rehabilitation program and construction of economy residential flats by the Pimpri-Chinchawad Municipal Corporation has helped converting the region into an NCP citadel. The industrial growth of the area is also one more thing NCP is looking at as its strength.


Adding to the strength of the NCP is the infighting among the Shiv Sena (SS) cadre in the region. Of the 15 candidates fighting in the Maval constituency, Azam Pansare faces the straight fight from the Sena nominee Gajanan Babar, a two time MLA. It was not without much of a drama that Sena could finalise on the candidature of Gajanan Babar. Earlier as the rumor mill rolled in the region that Sena wanted to field Shrirang Barne, a Congress rebel as its candidate, Sainiks sent thousands of SMSes to Udhav Thackray, the Shiv Sena Executive President opposing the reported move. “After the SMSes the Sena backtracked but its house is not in the right order even now”, says Shriram Patil, a local native.


Azam Pansare riding on the development plank is assuring the voters to repeat the Pimpri-Chinchawad pattern in other parts of the constituency. “The development we have done in Pimpri-Chinchawad is now a pattern. After winning the election, I am bound to follow with this pattern in other areas”, he says to ummid.com.


For the NCP leaders the election victory for Azam Pansare is a foregone conclusion. However the Muslim political analysts elsewhere in the country are anxiously waiting for the results of the Maval Parliamentary constituency. “The fact that Azam Pansare is holding the ground in a constituency where Muslim population is not in a good number is an eye opener for the Muslim leadership in the country”, observes Shamsuddin Ela Khan, an analyst. “If Muslims have a leader with a successful and proven track record of development and good work, he can be elected even from the constituency where they don’t have a sizeable Muslim population", he adds while speaking to ummid.com.








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Sare Jahan Se Accha

Hindustan Hamara

In 1905 more than 100 years from today, when Iqbal was a lecturer at the Government College, Lahore he was invited by his student Lala Hardayal to preside over a function. Instead of making a speech, Iqbal sang Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara in his style. Iqbal compiled this poem in praise of India and the poem preaches the communal harmony that had unfortunately started ceasing in India by that time. Each and every word in this poem depicts an Indian’s respect and love for the motherland and the values the Indian society inherited for long...Read Full




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