Tatkare senior an MP, junior looks to be MLA in RaigadUpdated: Oct 19, 2019 00:39 IST
Addressing a group of villagers near Indapur, Aditi Tatkare, 31, from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), outlines her vision for the constituency and stresses her father MP Sunil Tatkare’s achievements over the years in the region. This encapsulates the debutante’s poll pitch, who is seeking to win against Shiv Sena’s Vinod Ghosalkar from Shrivardhan seat in Raigad district.
The Tatkare scion is seeking a mandate to keep her family stronghold intact against 62-year-old Ghosalkar, who is aiming to regain a foothold in the constituency for the party after a decade.
Ghosalkar, a former MLA from Dahisar in Mumbai, was given a ticket from Shrivardhan, after the seat went to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the alliance. The seat was held by the Sena between 1995 and 2009, while the NCP bagged the seat in 2009 and 2014.
Speaking to a crowd of women, children and men outside a temple in Indapur, Aditi said,” “Just like how Sharad Pawar has developed Baramati, we want to develop Indapur and the rest of the areas... Saheb (Sunil Tatkare) has worked a lot in the region and today he is the MP from here. I am sure you all will vote for us and help us keep this home constituency, so that we can carry out development work.”
Ghosalkar said he was fighting the Tatkares’ “dynasty politics” and people are fed up of the “terror” of the family for over 15 years.
Aditi and the NCP are riding high on the recent Raigad Lok Sabha results, where Shrivardhan gave a comfortable lead to the senior NCP leader against Sena’s six-term MP Anant Geete. “My father had a lead of 37,000 votes in the Assembly segment. So we are confident that people here will back us,” Aditi, who is the president of Raigad zilla parishad, said. She said they are not taking the voters for “granted”.
The NCP is not perturbed by the recent defection from the Tatkare family into the Shiv Sena. Sitting MLA and Aditi’s cousin Avdhut quit the party and joined the Sena. Aditi denied the defection has dented the chances and added that contrary to the claims made by Avdhut, a chunk of the cadre is still with the NCP.
She said her agenda was development of the constituency, which can be developed as a tourist attraction. “The constituency has more women voters than men, and my focus will be to uplift them through bachat gats. Employment generation is the need of the hour. I am not saying I intend to recall all those who have gone to Mumbai or Thane for work here, but at least the ones who are seeking jobs should find it here,” she said.
The Sena, meanwhile, is wooing Muslim fishermen, who constitute 20% voters. Hurt by low votes from the fishing ‘mohallas’ in the coastal side of the constituency, the Sena is working at consolidating the votes in the area.
The mohallas of the creek belt including Ambet, Morba, Torade, Sanderi, Amshet, etc did not vote for Geete in the Lok Sabha.
Naveed Antulay, son of former Maharashtra chief minister AR Antulay, who backs the Sena now, said: “Our mistake during the Lok Sabha polls needs to be corrected by ensuring Ghosalkar wins. I have promised votes from the mohallas to the Sena leadership.” Ghosalkar, on Thursday, held a meeting in Ambet village with the voters from these villages to seek their support.
Ambet was former Maharashtra chief minister AR Antulay’s native village and people of the mohallas still respect him. “No development has happened in these areas since saheb passed away,” said Afroza Daware, Sarpanch of Ambet. She said some people in the villages voted for Tatkare in the Lok Sabha after they used Antulay’s picture in the campaign material.
However, the NCP has traditionally enjoyed support from the minority community.
When asked if the Lok Sabha lead would hurt the Sena, he said: “People vote differently in all elections, so we cannot say that. The seat is a challenging one, but we will definitely win.”
There are 14 candidates in the fray in Shrivardhan including Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s Sanjay Balakrishna Gaikwad.
The constituency has 2,57,532 voters; it has 1,31,430 women voters compared to 1,26,102 men voters.