Pune Lok Sabha Election 2024: What Punekars Expect From Their New MP?

Pune Lok Sabha Election 2024: What Punekars Expect From Their New MP?

Pune is scheduled to vote on May 13

Gaurav KadamUpdated: Thursday, March 28, 2024, 06:49 PM IST
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Pune Lok Sabha Election 2024: What Punekars Expect From Their New MP? | Gaurav Kadam

The 2024 Lok Sabha elections have been announced, with Pune scheduled to vote on May 13. The candidates, Murlidhar Mohol from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Ravindra Dhangekar from Congress, have also been announced. However, instead of focussing on the particular candidates, we sought to understand what Punekars expect from their new MP.

Amit Paranjape, a technology entrepreneur, emphasised, "The MP should be the primary representative, the embodiment of the city, and its vocal advocate. Collaborating with other influential stakeholders at both the local and state levels, the MP must take ownership of and propel forward the strategic vision for the city. As a representative in the Lok Sabha, the MP should prioritise promoting central government projects and services that directly benefit the city."

Cybersecurity expert Sandeep Godbole stated, "The MP is more of an influencer rather than a primary decision-maker in the government. From a development perspective, the MP should help address priorities like maintaining and enhancing Pune's position as an education and research hub by drawing in institutions of national eminence. The city lacks institutions like IIT and IIM. Additionally, attracting the biotech and pharma sectors and acting as a watchdog for law and order are crucial. Besides, focussing on infrastructure such as new highways, internal roads, metro rail, and better rail connectivity is essential."

Author R Raj Rao expressed, "Pune is now a tier one city in terms of its population, but not in terms of its infrastructure. Matters such as roads, public transportation, traffic management, garbage disposal, and environmental pollution need to be tackled on a war footing. Besides, Pune has seen a surge of homeless people living off sidewalks. What are governments at every level—central, state, and civic—doing about this? True, our Constitution makes a distinction between central and state subjects, but a good MP should not be bogged down by this technicality."

"If I may use an academic simile, an MP is like the vice-chancellor of a university, while MLAs are like registrars, and corporators are like heads of departments. Just as a vice-chancellor is responsible for the overall functioning of a university in as efficient a manner as possible, an MP should ensure that the people who have voted him to Parliament are not let down. I would further add that an MP is like an ambassador representing their constituency. And just as a bad ambassador can bring a bad name to the country, a bad MP can bring a bad name to the city," he added.

Ranjeet Rane, a public policy professional, emphasised, "The MP should be able to project himself as a champion for the city's future. He should be aware of his role to advocate for the city through parliamentary processes. He should be well-versed with the policy formulation process through national legislative channels and be a visionary leader who understands the need for sustainable development of the city."

Group Captain Nitin Welde (Retd) highlighted, "The MP should look at three key areas - law and order, traffic congestion, and the construction of a new airport."

Akshay, the admin of Pune City Life, a popular social media page for city updates, added, "The MP should know the basics of Pune. Though he will be more involved in national-level decision-making, he should not forget his primary duty is not to please the party supremos but to please Punekars by easing their struggles. Mostly all Pune MPs have ignored their responsibility to represent Punekars' views and aspirations in the Lok Sabha. That is why we struggle for the things which other top cities easily got, like metro, airport, etc."

Tanzeel Allapur, Project Lead (Sustainable Urban Mobility) at Parisar, highlighted, "The MP should prioritise sustainability in urban mobility, particularly by implementing initiatives like the Pune Cycle Plan and enhancing pedestrian infrastructure. Pune has the potential to become a truly cycle and pedestrian-friendly city, and I hope our representatives work towards realising this vision."

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