Sanjog Waghere, the former president of the Nationalist Congress Party's (NCP) Pimpri-Chinchwad unit, has made a significant move by joining Shiv Sena (UBT) and is likely to be nominated as the party's candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from the Maval constituency.
Hailing from Pimpri Gaon, Waghere is a three-time corporator of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and has previously held the position of mayor in the industrial city. He recently finalised his entry into the Shiv Sena during a meeting with Uddhav Thackeray at his Mumbai residence. This decision was endorsed by all party office-bearers from Pimpri-Chinchwad and Maval who were present at the meeting, party spokesperson Sanjay Raut confirmed. Raut also indicated that Waghere stands as a strong contender for the Lok Sabha polls from the Maval constituency.
Waghere previously served as the NCP's Pimpri-Chinchwad unit president. Following the split in the party, he maintained a low profile and reduced his political activities. Later, he aligned himself with the Ajit Pawar-led faction.
Waghere's family has a longstanding involvement in politics. His wife, Sunita Waghere, has been elected twice as a corporator and has held the position of chairperson of the PCMC standing committee. Additionally, his father, Bhiku-Patil Waghere, served as the mayor of Pimpri-Chinchwad.
Everyone's eyeing the Maval Lok Sabha seat
A heated contest has unfolded over the Maval Lok Sabha constituency among the Mahayuti partners. While sitting Shiv Sena MP Shrirang Barne, now aligned with the Eknath Shinde camp, appears confident about securing a ticket, leaders from the BJP and NCP's Ajit Pawar faction have asserted their aspirations for the same seat.
Sunil Shelke, Maval MLA, mentioned that the Ajit Pawar faction of the NCP is actively vying for the Maval seat and is actively pursuing the ticket. Shelke highlighted that NCP holds a stronger position than Shiv Sena in terms of numbers in Maval.
The BJP is also keen on securing the Maval seat. Recently, posters supporting former MLA Bala Bhegade as Maval's potential MP emerged. Commenting on this, Bhegade clarified that these posters were put up by his supporters on his birthday. He expressed his willingness to contest if given the opportunity by the party and the alliance.