2019 Lok Sabha elections: 400 nominations for 17 Maharashtra seats
The seven constituencies going to polls in the first phase are from Vidarbha and are held by the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena, except Bhandara-Gondiya which is with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)Updated: Mar 27, 2019 11:22 IST
Hindustan Times, Mumbai / Nagpur
At least 400 candidates have filed nominations for the 17 constituencies in Maharashtra that will go to polls in the first two phases on April 11 and 18. Barring Solapur, all constituencies are from Vidarbha and Marathwada, with bigwigs from all parties, namely Union ministers Nitin Gadkari, Hansraj Ahir, Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan and sitting MPs Bhawana Gawli, Pritam Munde, Chandrakant Khaire, in the fray.
The seven constituencies going to polls in the first phase are from Vidarbha and are held by the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena, except Bhandara-Gondiya which is with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). While retaining the seat may be a challenge for the NCP, the Congress is eyeing at least a couple of seats. The Congress is facing infighting within its local leaders in constituencies, including Chandrapur and Ramtek. The party had to change its candidate in Chandrapur, while its official candidate in Ramtek Kishor Gajbhiye is facing opposition from a section led by party leader Nitin Raut.
Gadkari is pitted against former MP and Congress leader Nana Patole in Nagpur. Patole is banking on anti-incumbency and his caste (Kunbi), which has a sizeable population in the constituency. However, it may not be a cakewalk for Patole to edge out Gadkari, who has earned the sobriquet of “Vikas Purush” in the region. Besides, Patole carries the tag of an “outsider”. “I was born and grew up in Nagpur. People know me and have seen my work for the people. I am confident of a victory,” said Gadkari.
Former Maharashtra Congress chief Manikrao Thakre is pitted against four-time Shiv Sena MP Bhawana Gawli in Yavatmal. In Chandrapur, Union minister for home Hansraj Ahir is facing Congress’ Suresh Dhanorkar, who was a Shiv Sena MLA before he joined the party. Retired IAS officer Kishor Gajbhiye is pitted against Shiv Sena’s sitting MP Krupal Tumane in Ramtek. In Maoist-affected Gadchiroli, the Congress has renominated Dr Namdeo Usendi against the incumbent Lok Sabha member, Ashok Nete of BJP.
In Wardha, Charulata Tokas – women’s wing chief of state Congress – is sure to give a good fight to the present Lok Sabha member Ramdas Tadas of BJP, feel observers. Tokas, daughter of former MPCC chief Prabha Rao, is hoping to benefit from the anti-incumbency in the constituency over the past five years. In Bhandara-Gondiya, the BJP is facing a rebellion, following the nomination of Sunil Mendhe, a low-profile party leader and president of Bhandara municipality. Senior NCP leader Praful Patel is not contesting this time and has fielded Nana Panchbudhe, a former Maharashtra minister and Kunbi community leader.
The first phase, for which Monday was the last day of filing nomination, received 185 nominations.
Election returning officers received more than 225 nominations until Tuesday, the last day of filing nominations, for the second phase. Of the ten constituencies in the second phase, six constituencies are in Central Maharashtra, three Vidarbha and one (Solapur) in western Maharashtra.
In Beed, Latur and Osmanabad, the fight is within political families. BJP’s sitting MP Pritam Munde is facing Nationalist Congress Party’s Bajrang Sonawane, who is supported by Pritam’s cousin and leader of opposition in legislative council Dhananjay Munde. On the day of filing nomination, the city witnessed tension after Dhananjay Munde held rally without permission outside the collector’s office and criticised Pritam and her elder sister and state minister Pankaja Munde.
In Osmanabad, NCP’s sitting MLA Rana Jagjitsinh Patil is facing his cousin, Omraje Nimbalkar of the Shiv Sena. The cousins have been facing each other in the past two Assembly elections. Rana Jagjitsinh Patil’s father and former state minister Padmasinh Patil is facing charges of murder of Omraje’s father Pawanraje Nimbalkar.
Labour minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar, the grandson of former chief minister Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar, and former minister of state and Congress MLA Amit Deshmukh, who is son of former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh have been given responsibilities of the party candidates in Latur.
Former chief minister and Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan is contesting from Nanded against Shiv Sena MLA and BJP candidate Pratap Patil Chikhalikar. Chavan was compelled by party leadership to fight against his wish as he wanted his MLA wife Ameeta to be in the fray.
First Published: Mar 26, 2019 22:55 IST