Narayan Rane faces acid test in coastal Konkan region

Narayan Rane faces acid test in coastal Konkan region

 The coastal Konkan belt is poised for an interesting battle and the focal point is Sindhudurg district where Narayan Rane, a chief ministerial aspirant, is facing a tough challenge. 

There are several leaders who are fighting for supremacy in the region, and the five-cornered contest throws a challenge to the contestants.

The development of Konkan with a human face, like basic infrastructure, and environmental degradation are some of the major issues. 

In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Shiv Sena won four seats, while the BJP won two.

In the 2009 Assembly polls, of the 39 seats, the Shiv Sena won 10 seats, the NCP 10, the BJP five, the Congress three, the MNS three, the PWP three, the Bahujan Vikas Aghadi two, the CPM 1 and independents and others two.

Rane was the chief minister for a brief period during the Shiv Sena-BJP regime and later switched to the Congress. He is contesting from Kudal-Malvan. 

Rane’s younger son Nitesh is contesting from Kankavli. Rane’s elder son Nilesh lost the Lok Sabha elections from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg.

Rane's rival Deepak Kesarkar is contesting from the Sawantwadi seat. A former NCP MLA, he joined the Shiv Sena a few months ago. 

Rane had accused Kesarkar of not helping the Congress workers during Lok Sabha polls. Dr Vinay Natu is contesting from Guhagar seat.

The NCP's influence has increased in Konkan over the last few years – and two prominent leaders are state NCP chief Sunil Tatkare, an MLC, and his predecessor Bhaskar Jadhav. Tatkare lost the Lok Sabha polls to Shiv Sena's Anant Geete, who is a minister in the NDA government at the Centre.