Despite oppn, NCP goes ahead with wrestling event

Despite opposition from all other political parties, the ruling Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) went ahead with the scheduled wrestling competition involving foreign players, including Pakistan. However, all other political parties, including ruling alliance partner Congress, stayed away from the one-day event estimated to incur an expenditure of Rs 1.5 crore.

Mayor Vaishali Bankar inaugurated the event while Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar gave away the the prizes to the winners.

The Congress and the NCP were at loggerheads over the way the event was being organised as the former alleged that NCP had hijacked the event by publicising it as its party event. They alleged the mayor did not consult the Congress leader-headed sports committee, before organising the event. They also complained that the competition was organised on the outskirts even as there was a stadium in the city.

However, the NCP had hit back saying that the mayor has the powers to organise such event and there was no need to consult the sports committee. The Shiv Sena and BJP too had protested the civic body's decision to invite Pakistani wrestlers. The MNS protested saying that the civic body was diverting funds meant for development projects to conduct such a competition.

BJP leader Vikas Matkari urged the civic administration not to sanction funds for the event as there was no provision for international wrestling competition in 2012-13 budget. Activist Vijay Kumbhar had warned of taking up the issue with the appropriate authority if the civic body went ahead with spending civic funds for the competition.

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