The senior Nationalist Congress Party leader Deepak Mankar who is known as a close aide of party supremo Sharad Pawar is keen to fight Lok Sabha by-election in Pune.
The bypoll was necessitated with the death of senior BJP leader and Pune MP Girish Bapat on March 23 after a prolonged illness. Mankar told here on Thursday that he and Prashant Jagtap are demanding the party ticket to contest by-election, but decision taken by the party will be acceptable to us.
The seat has become vacant after the death of Pune Lok Sabha MP Girish Bapat. A by-election is likely to be held on this seat. Therefore, it is seen that along with BJP, Congress and NCP have started preparations for this by-election.
After NCP city president Prashant Jagtap recently announced that he is willing to contest this by-election, now Deepak Mankar, a big leader of NCP and considered close to Sharad Pawar, has also staked claim for this seat.
Talking to our correspondent Mankar said that he will fight this Lok Sabha by-election as there is no other leader in Pune who can mix with his people so much.
After working for the people in Pune for the last 35 years, now the party workers are insisting me that I should contest the Lok Sabha elections. Therefore, we must accept the workers’ insistence, he added. I have a waste knowledge about Pune Lok Sabha Constituency. I have a network of workers in every assembly constituency. I think no other candidate can give as much time to people as me, said Mankar. In the last 35 years, I have formed a different relationship with lakhs of people. I have solved the food problem of more than three and a half lakh people during the Corona pandemic period. I have solved many problems of youth in my career. It is not my nature to work only for elections, but it is my habit to fight for the people forever, so I will try to maintain the spirit of the workers in this Lok Sabha by-election, said Mankar who was also Deputy mayor of Pune.
I am an activist reaching 2.5 million people. Common people have faith in my work, in me. I have always stood at the forefront to resolve the issues of Ganesh Mandal, youth issues, public transport issues, labor issues, education board, PMPML, municipal employees. So I have a different relationship with all of them. Therefore, since I am a candidate of the people, said Mankar while expressing his intention to contest this by-election.
Meanwhile, the names of Muralidhar Mohol, Medha Kulkarni, Sanjay Kakade, Swarda Bapat, Jagdish Mulik are also being discussed from the BJP side apart from Girish Bapat son’s Gaurav Bapat.
Specially, since Deepak Mankar is considered as Sharad Pawar’s preferred leader, the NCP is seeing a lot of competition for this Lok Sabha seat. Therefore, even before the announcement of the Pune Lok Sabha by-election, politics in Pune has heated up to the extreme.
Mankar who started his political career from 1988, was the President of Maharashtra Youth Congress for 10 years. He became a corporator after contesting the municipal elections in 2007. He has been a corporator for 4 terms including the post of civic servant accepted for the first time. He was also Deputy Mayor of Pune Municipal Corporation. He has worked on the Board of Education for 10 years. He did good work in Pune under the leadership of Suresh Kalmadi, Gadgil. He was known as a favored leader of Sharad Pawar today. Mankar has developed the great public relations in Pune and is known as a leader who comes forward and fights every issue of youth and Ganesha Mandals.