On the occasion of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader and former Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) corporator Vasant More's birthday on Tuesday, his supporters festooned the city with banners projecting him as the MNS candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Pune. The intriguing question arises: Does More indeed aspire to contest? The answer is a resounding yes!
In an exclusive interview with The Free Press Journal, More expressed his desire to contest as an MNS candidate from Pune. He unequivocally stated, "If given the opportunity, I will undoubtedly contest the Lok Sabha polls and emerge victorious. I have been in discussions with our party's chief Raj Thackeray for the last four to five months, ever since the Pune Lok Sabha seat became vacant due to the passing of MP Girish Bapat. Just yesterday, I had a conversation with Amit Thackeray regarding this." In a lighter vein, he added, "If Raj saheb commands, I'll even contest Lok Sabha elections from Varanasi."
When queried about his vision for Pune once he assumes the mantle of an MP, More placed a spotlight on the prevailing challenges confronting the city. "The city is facing pressing traffic problems right now, and there is a need to decongest the city by enhancing public transport as constructing a Metro system is insufficient. There is also a need to control the entry of heavy vehicles, including State Transport (ST) buses, at the city's borders," he said.
More also said the city's water woes need to be addressed, pointing out that the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) doesn't own a single dam. "If the PMC improves the storage capacity of the Bhilarwadi, Gujar Nimbalkarwadi, and Mangdewadi lakes, this would alleviate water scarcity in South Pune," he said, asserting that the PMC should develop their own water sources.
More also refuted claims that MNS indirectly aids the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by splitting opposition votes. He affirmed that MNS is prepared to challenge the saffron party directly. "This election in Pune will be BJP vs. MNS, as the Congress doesn't have a candidate. The BJP also doesn't have one, but they will give the ticket to someone," More stated.