This is a 3-part series of post election thoughts. At the India, Maharashtra and Pune level. You can find the remaining parts here.
This post appears here just because I belong to Pune and no other reason.
The verdict : It is going to take more than a bunch of wannabe MP’s and fractured electorate to overthrow Suresh Kalmadi.
If not for the MNS, the Congress would have lost for certain. But with the MNS creating a tripolar political scenario in Pune, with other minor poles being the BSP candidate D.S. Kulkarni and independent Arun Bhatia, the Congress did not have to do anything special to win this seat.
With a record low turnout of 40% in Pune and a record high number of candidates (36), it was undoubtedly going in favour of the incumbent. Same idea again, do not shoot yourself, which was arguably the mantra of the Congress this time. And they almost did it, with the NCP not supporting Suresh Kalmadi for a large part of the campaign, but even that wasn’t enough to lose the seat. You get the idea now.
As for the other factions like Arun Bhatia, I hope they do not abandon politics only to resurface the next time, but actively participate in local and assembly elections too. It can only help the cause.
As for Suresh Kalmadi, I cannot wait to see what his next maverick idea is going to be after the BRTS.
How about making roads only open to pedestrians while vehicles drive on the footpath ? Think about it.