first_imgPune: The results to the civic polls in the Pimpri-Chinchwad and Pune Municipal Corporations, which witnessed an unprecedented Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sweep, also put a spotlight on a number of unusual candidates, who were different from the clichéd crorepati corporators.For 21-year-old Computer Science graduate Prachi Alhat, her win from Panel 26 (encompassing the city’s Kondhwa-Mohammadwadi area) was doubly sweet as she became the youngest candidate to win the election. She withstood the BJP’s wave by winning comfortably on a Shiv Sena ticket. The party itself barely managed to win 10 seats in the PMC.Ms. Alhat said, “My win is yet to sink in. I had planned to take up a job in the IT sector, but this win has altered my dreams. Now I’m eager to work towards the development of my ward in particular, and society in general.” Her exultant family has not stopped distributing sweets since the news came through. Ms. Alhat graduated from the city’s St. Mira’s College for Girls. A political neophyte, she was a silver lining in the Sena’s dark cloud in the PMC polls. Her family has also been in politics for a while. Her husband, Ashish Alhat, is a dedicated Sena worker.Likewise, Ashwini Landge did her party, the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM), proud by being its only candidate to win a seat in the PMC polls.Ms. Landge, one of the few Christian candidates in the fray, won from Panel 6 (the city’s Yerwada area), thereby securing a foothold fro her party in Pune’s politics. She is well-regarded for her social work in her area, and has earned respect for her efforts to improve basic amenities like water-supply and sanitation.Inspirational winThe most inspiring story of them all is that of Rajashree Kale (32), a single mother who works as a humble peon in the city’s Abasaheb Garware College.Ms. Kale contested on a BJP ticket from Panel 7 in the city’s University-Wakdewadi area. She hails from Solapur district and is a member of the nomadic Pardhi community. She arrived in Pune in 2004, soon after her marriage, only to be abandoned by her husband following the birth of her daughters.Her job as peon with the Abasaheb Garware College has sustained her family for the last several years. The college authorities speak admiringly of her as a woman of great stoicism and courage, who displayed a keen awareness of social problems.Speaking to reporters after Thursday’s results, Ms. Kale said, “I never imagined I would contest an election. Our community is very backward. The BJP gave me an opportunity and party workers worked very hard for my victory.” Ms. Kale won .Ms. Kale’s kin say that her win has opened a new window of opportunity for their community. Rekha Shinde, Ms. Kale’s younger sister, said, “We are four sisters and a brother and she [Rajashree] was always the sharpest among us.” Police in politicsThe BJP’s Dhanraj Ghogare, a former police constable, made his political debut on Thursday with his maiden win.Mr. Ghogare was up against a stiff competition in the NCP-Congress dominated Panel 25 in the city’s Wanowrie area.He said, “While I was aware that competition was exceedingly tough, my father, who was with the State Police Reserve Force (SPRF), had forged enduring bonds with the citizens here. I, too, have continued this tradition of maintaining a personal connect.”The panel was especially noteworthy as the incumbent Mayor, the NCP’s Prashant Jagtap, contested from here and won.last_img

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