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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Kolhapur’s political identity losing “independent” status ahead of Assembly polls

cities Updated: Sep 18, 2019 21:42 IST
Parth Welankar
Parth Welankar

PUNE Traditionally, the voting pattern in Kolhapur district has been such that the leaders with the best political charisma have managed to turn electoral success to their favour.

The emergence and predominance of the Tararani aghadi (alliance), founded by Mahadevro Mahadik 25 years ago, is evidence.

However, the voting pattern in the general elections of 2019 seems to be shifting from its traditional form - local alliances - as national political parties have successfully managed to penetrate Kolhapur district.

Prakash Pawar, a political science professor at Shivaji University in Kolhapur said, “The voting pattern in the Kolhapur district has certainly changed to a great extent which was evident in the recently held Loksabha elections. While people in Kolhapur district have always voted for local candidates, the Lok Sabha elections saw national parties emerge stronger.”

Explaining further, Pawar said, “The reason why local leaders like Dhananjay Mahadik, former NCP MP, were defeated despite doing a significant amount of work as an MP was because, BJP as a party grew stronger. Besides, it was successful in mobilising votes. Be it caste equations or taking the support of the influencer lobbies like the sugar cooperative sector and dairy producing centres, BJP managed to do it successfully.”

“The overall impact of which was the opposition getting decimated in the region, the replication of which might be seen in the state assembly polls as well,” said Pawar.

Manju Pethe, a resident of Kolhapur, said, “The reason for the change in the voting pattern in the district is the perforation of national schemes such as PM Mudra Yojana and PM Awas Yojana. Kolhapur has a significant amount of MSME industries which hugely benefited from schemes like the Mudra Yojana.”

Kolhapur has had a tradition of leaders fighting elections independently without getting affiliated to political parties.

From fringe players 10 years ago, BJP and Sena have replaced NCP-Congress in their own bastion

First Published: Sep 18, 2019 21:42 IST

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