Munde cousins, Chavan, Bagade in the fray in Marathwada

Former chief minister Ashok Chavan of the Congress will contest from Bhokar in Nanded district, his hometurf. PTI File Photo

The Marathwada region of Maharashtra will witness some interesting contests in the October 21 Assembly polls.

In eight districts of the region, a former chief minister, Speaker of the outgoing assembly and a leader of opposition are in the fray.

Former chief minister Ashok Chavan of the Congress will contest from Bhokar in Nanded district, his hometurf.

He will be facing former NCP MLA Bapusaheb Gorthekar, who joined the BJP a month ago. Currently Amita Chavan, Ashok Chavan's wife, represents Bhokar.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Chavan had gained a slim lead if 4,786 votes from Bhokar segment. He lost the election.

Congress' Kalyan Kale, a former MLA, will take on Assembly Speaker Haribhau Bagade of the BJP in Phulambri in Aurangabad district.

Kale and Bagade would be facing off for a fourth time.

In 2004 elections, Kale had defeated Bagade from Aurangabad East seat.

After delimitation, the two again clashed in Phulambri in 2009 and Kale defeated Bagade by 2,587 votes.

But in 2014 Bagade defeated him by 3,611 votes.

The contest between Munde cousins for Parali in Beed district is likely to be the most high-profile one in the region.

State cabinet minister Pankaja Munde of the BJP and her estranged cousin Dhananjay Munde of the NCP who is the leader of opposition in the Legislative Council would be clashing a second time.

In 2014, Pankaja, daughter of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde, had defeated Dhananjay with a margin of 25,895 votes.

In Ausa in Latur district, Shiv Sena's Dinkar Mane lost to Baswaraj Patil of Congress in 2009 and 2014. This time the Sena has given the seat to its ally BJP.

Abhimanyu Pawar, personal assistant of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, will be contesting from there on BJP ticket against Baswaraj Patil.

In Nilanga in Latur district, state cabinet minister Sambhaji Patil Nilangekar of the BJP will face his uncle and Congress candidate Ashokrav Patil Nilangekar. In 2014, Sambhaji Patil had defeated his uncle by 27,830 votes.

In Tuljapur in Osmanabad district, five-time MLA Madhukarrao Chavan of the Congress will face BJP's Rana Jagjit Singh Patil, son of former NCP leader Padmasinh Patil.

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