Despite drought, upsets, saffron intact in Marathwada

Despite drought, upsets, saffron intact in Marathwada

Representative image. (PTI photo)

Despite couple of big upsets, the BJP-Shiv Sena improved its lead in drought-affected Marathwada region. 

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's vow to make Maharashtra drought-free in five years and Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray's regular visit to the region and taking up the issue of crop-insurance seem to have appealed the electorate.

The 46 seats of Marathwada region are spread across eight districts, majority of which are drought affected.

Two senior ministers Pankaja Munde (BJP) and Jaidutta Kshirsagar (Shiv Sena) lost the polls to Beed district in what was described as family contests. While Pankaja was defeated by her cousin Dhananjay Munde from Parli, in neighbouring Beed seat NCP's Sandeep Kshirsagar defeated uncle Jaydutta Kshirsagar, who had switched over from the NCP to Sena. 

The BJP and Shiv Sena has got 16 and 12 seats, respectively, one up each from last time's tally.  The Congress tally has reduced to eight from earlier nine, while the NCP reatined all eight seats. 

Among prominent winners were former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan (Bhokar), late Vilasrao Deshmukh's two sons - Amit (Latur City) and Dhiraj (Latur Rural) and Ranajagjitsinha Patil (Tuljapur). Patil is son of ex-NCP leader Dr Padmasinh Patil, a relative of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar.  The father-son duo had left the NCP to join the BJP. 

The region faced severe drought and in fact a few years back Latur had to be provided water by running water wagons. Latur along with Beed and Osmanabad had been worst drought affected. The Maharashtra government is working on an over Rs 15,000 crore water grid project for Marathwada and it has been appreciated by locals.

The divisonal headquarters of Aurangabad, known as 'tourism capital' of the state, was the epicentre of the Maratha reservation agitation. 

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