Fate of two ex-CMs and bigwigs in Maha to be sealed

Fate of two ex-CMs and bigwigs in Maha to be sealed

Ashok Chavan. PTI file photo

The fate of two former Maharashtra chief ministers — Sushilkumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's grandson Prakash Ambedkar, actress-model Navneet Kaur Rana and late Gopinath Munde's daughter Pritam Munde would be sealed on Thursday when parts of Maharashtra go to polls during the second phase.

Three seats of Vidarbha region — Buldhana, Akola and Amravati (SC), one from Western Maharashtra — Solapur (SC) and six from Marathwada — Hingoli, Nanded, Parbhani, Beed, Osmanabad, Latur (SC), Solapur (SC) will face election.

The first phase of polls on 11 April — during which seven seats of Vidarbha including the orange capital of  Nagpur and Naxalite—affected Gadchiroli went to polls - an average 61.81 per cent polling was registered.

In the second phase, the majority of the water-starved Marathwada region and Vidarbha region where farmers' suicide issue is prominent, will go to polls.

Except for the Nanded seat, all the seats are held by the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance. Though the fight is between the Congress—NCP front and the BJP—Shiv Sena alliance, the person to watch is Ambedkar, who had floated Bahujan Vanchit Agadhi, a large grouping of parties and organisations Dalit, tribals, Muslims, Dhangars, Kolis and Agris.

Ambedkar is contesting two seats — Solapur and Akola. In Solapur, he will contest against Shinde, a former CM and ex-home minister of the Congress and BJP candidate Dr Jaisiddheshwar Shivacharya Mahaswami, a Lingayat seer. In Akola, he is taking on Hidayat Patel of Congress and Sanjay Dhotre of BJP, the sitting MP. Ambedkar won this seat twice in 1998 and 1999.

In both these seats, the Dalit-Muslim votes are important and Ambedkar has created a sort of unrest among both the leading camps.

In Latur Congress candidate Machhindra Kamant will take on BJP’s Sudhakar Shrungare. Osmanabad will witness a family tussle with Sena's Omraje Nimbalkar taking on his cousin and NCP’s candidate Ranajagjitsinh Patil. Patil’s father, Padamsinh Patil is an accused in the murder of Nimbalkar’s father, the late Congressman Pawanraje Nimbalkar.

In Beed, NCP has fielded Bajrang Sonawane against sitting BJP MP Pritam Munde, who holds the record of largest margin in Lok Sabha. In Nanded, Chavan takes on BJP’s Pratap Patil Chikhalikar in the family seat.

In Amravati, its a battle between four-time Sena MP Anandrao Adsul and actress Navneet Kaur Rana of the Yuva Swabhiman Party (YSP), supported by the Congress-NCP led 56-party Mahagathbandhan.


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