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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019

Ahmednagar: Cong-NCP’s last bastion where BJP is ready to battle

Ahmednagar city will witness NCP’s MLA Sangram Jagtap taking on former Shiv Sena MLA Anil Rathod.

pune Updated: Oct 18, 2019 16:42 IST
Nadeem Inamdar
Nadeem Inamdar
Hindustan Times, Pune
NCP’s Sangram Jagtap takes to the streets of Ahmednagar as part of his campaign rally on Thursday.
NCP’s Sangram Jagtap takes to the streets of Ahmednagar as part of his campaign rally on Thursday. (HT PHOTO)

Ahmednagar: Ahmednagar district is all set to witness a battle for control of traditional fiefdoms. In the fray are high-profile politicians like, former leader of the Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil; Maharashtra state Congress president Balasaheb Thorat; state minister Ram Shinde; and NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s grand nephew, Rohit Pawar.

Known to be politically volatile and geographically, one of the largest districts in Maharashtra, Ahmednagar boasts a strong network of co-operative sugar factories that have defined politics here.

Ahmednagar is one of the last remaining bastions of the Congress and NCP. Then, over the last two months, the exodus began.

Defections from Congress-NCP to the BJP began just before the Lok Sabha elections, when Vikhe-Patil’s son resigned, joined the BJP and won the Ahmednagar parliamentary seat. His father later resigned, joined the BJP and was given a state ministerial berth.

The game of political one-upmanship between former minister and Congressman Balasaheb Thorat and the Vikhe-Patils resulted in Thorat bagging the presidentship of the state Congress, while Vikhe-Patil Sr. bagged a ministerial berth in the BJP’s state cabinet.

Vikhe-Patil has now declared that the BJP-Sena combine will win all 12 seats in the legislative assembly.

Thorat, for his part, too, is leaving no stone unturned to stop the saffron juggernaut in its tracks.

The Congress candidate in Shirdi is Shirish Thorat, while Dr Kiran Lahamte will fly the NCP flag in Akola.

The Sangamner opponent of Balasaheb Thorat is Shiv Sena candidate Sahebrao Nawale.

Makrand Ghodke, Ahmednagar-based political observer, said, “A “reel” political fight is taking place in Sangamner and Shirdi, from where Balasaheb Thorat and Vikhe-Patil are contesting.Candidates field by the opposition were are very weak in front of the sitting legislators, which reveals a hidden tacit understanding between them. Another interesting battle will be in Karjat Jamkhed where Sharad Pawar’s grand-nephew (Rohit) is contesting against BJP’s Ram Shinde. Political families are trying to retain their hold over their bastions,” he said. 

Ahmednagar district is divided into two parliamentary seats - Ahmednagar and Shirdi (SC reserved category) with a total of 12 assembly seats.

Ahmednagar city will witness a fight between NCP MLA Sangram Jagtap and former Shiv Sena MLA Anil Rathod

2014 Assembly elections

BJP won

Rahuri, Pathardi-Shevgaon, Karjat Jamkhed, Newasa and Kopargaon

NCP won

Srigonda, Akole and Ahmednagar.

Congress won

Sangamner, Shirdi and Srirampur

Shiv Sena won



Akole: NCP’s Vaibhav Pichad  (now with BJP)

Sangamner: Congress’ Balasaheb Thorat  

Shirdi: Congresss’ Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil (Now contesting on BJP ticket)  

Kopargaon: BJP’s Senhalata Kolhe

Newasa: BJP’s Balasaheb Murkute  

Pathardi: BJP’s Monika Rajale  

Rahuri: BJP’s Shivaji Kardile  

Parner: Shiv Sena’s Vijay Auti  

Ahmednagar city: NCP’s Sangram Jagtap  

Srigonda: NCP’s Rahul Jagtap  

Jamkhed: BJP’s Ram Shinde