Malegaon blast drives poll factor in Dhule
No ubiquitous poll posters, no big rallies or fiery poll rhetoric, Dhule’s silence following riots and bomb blasts in Malegaon is proving deafening for the three major candidates in the fray.
The constituency witnessed communal riots late last year, starting with a banner allegedly inciting the Hindus against the Muslims and reportedly put up by the ‘Hindu Rakshak Samitee'.
And in the backdrop of riots, Hindu-Muslim votes have been polarised and the BJP may stand to gain from this constituency, which is going to polls in just five days.
Also at stake is the electoral ambitions of Congress candidate Amrish Patel and BJP’s Pratap Sonawane.
The Third Front has also fielded Nihal Ahmed (JD-S) to attract minority votes in the constituency that comprises 17 lakh voters, including around 4.5 lakh of Muslims and a huge chunk of Marathas.
Former MLA Anil Gote, who was jailed in the Telgi stamp paper scam, is also contesting as his Loksangram Party’s nominee. Dhule is among the five constituencies in the state having a sizable Muslim population.