Kasba Peth bypoll: Brahmins, Mukta Tilak's kin upset with BJP for denying them tickets

The saffron party is fielding Hemant Rasane, a non-Brahmin and non-Tilak as their candidate for the upcoming Kasba Peth Assembly bypoll.

Published: 06th February 2023 11:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th February 2023 02:01 AM   |  A+A-


BJP's candidate for Kasba Peth bypoll: Hemant Rasane. (Photo | Hemant Rasane Twitter)

Express News Service

PUNE: Brahmins in Pune are protesting against the BJP for choosing Hemant Rasane, a non-Brahmin, as their candidate for the upcoming Kasba Peth Assembly bypoll. He is a three-time corporator of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and was elected in 2002, 2012 and 2017.

Posters and flexes are being put up with messages stating that Brahmins were earlier denied a ticket in Kothrud Assembly seat, and that the community cannot tolerate this anymore.

The Kasba Peth bypoll was necessitated after the demise of sitting BJP MLA Mukta Tilak.

The posters displayed in Pune say that in 2019, sitting BJP MLA Medha Kulkarni was denied a ticket to accommodate erstwhile Maharashtra BJP president Chandrakant Patil in the Brahmin-dominated Korud constituency in Pune. The posters state that the party is repeating this in Kasba Peth, another region dominated by Brahmins. Posters also asked how long Brahmins should tolerate this 'injustice'.

Kasaba Peth constituency was earlier represented by former minister Girish Bapat, a Konkanastha Brahmin.

ALSO READ | Maha CM Shinde requests Sharad Pawar not to contest Chinchwad, Kasba Peth bypolls

Meanwhile, Shailesh Tilak, the widower of deceased BJP MLA Mukta Tilak, said that although the family expected that BJP would give them tickets, they would still continue to work for the BJP.

Claiming it was an injustice to the family, he added, "We thought that after Mukta's demise, the BJP will field a member of her family. We wanted to carry forward the development work undertaken by Mukta in Kasba Peth. But the party has taken different decisions. We have to respect them as may be taken for the party's larger interest."

Tilak also said that as the family members are grieving, they would not be able to campaign for Hemant Rasane.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had met Shailesh Tilak recently and informed him that the BJP would not field any member from the Tilak family in the bypolls.

Guardian minister of Pune Chandrakant Patil claimed that the Opposition is trying to create a perception that Brahmins are against the BJP but it was untrue. 

Meanwhile, Congress' Kasaba Peth candidate Ravindra Dhanghekar filed his nominations for the bypolls.

Dhanghekar was earlier with the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and has a significant following in this constituency.

“It is true that the BJP has dominance in the Kasba Peth region but we should not ignore that Congress candidate Dhanghekar is not someone weak. He had always given a tough fight to Girish Bapat. Once, Bapat had won by a slender margin against Dhanghekar. Congress candidate also has popularity here, so, BJP should not take this bye-election lightly. Besides, the Brahmins are unhappy with BJP. If they are absent for voting or press NOTA, then it can create trouble for the BJP candidate,” a political observer commented.


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