Fourth phase crucial for BJP as it contests seven out of 11 seats going to polls in Maha - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Fourth phase crucial for BJP as it contests seven out of 11 seats going to polls in Maha

May 13, 2024 07:58 AM IST

In Nandurbar, there is a straight fight between the BJP’s sitting MP Heena Gavit and Congress’s advocate Gowaal Padavi

As Maharashtra braces for the fourth phase of polling scheduled on Monday, May 13, 2024, the focus is on the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) as it enters a crucial phase in its electoral campaign. The BJP finds itself in the spotlight as it contests in seven out of the 11 constituencies slated to go to polls.

In Raver, the BJP’s Raksha Khadse will face off against the Nationalist Congress Party/NCP (SP)’s Shriram Patil. (HT PHOTO)
In Raver, the BJP’s Raksha Khadse will face off against the Nationalist Congress Party/NCP (SP)’s Shriram Patil. (HT PHOTO)

Key battlegrounds include prominent constituencies like Pune, Ahmednagar, Nandurbar, Beed and Jalna where the BJP is locked in close contest with the Maha Vikas Aghadi. The outcome of this phase not only holds implications for the BJP’s electoral fortunes but also sets the tone for the party’s political trajectory in Maharashtra. Out of the 11 constituencies, the BJP is contesting seven seats while its allies Shiv Sena and Nationalist Congress Party/NCP are contesting three and one seats respectively.

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

In Nandurbar, there is a straight fight between the BJP’s sitting MP Heena Gavit and Congress’s advocate Gowaal Padavi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi had addressed rallies in the last phase of the campaign. In the BJP’s stronghold Jalgaon, the party is facing a rebellion issue. Though there is a direct fight between the BJP’s Smita Wagh and the UBT’s Karan Pawar, disgruntled leader Unmesh Patil who joined the UBT ahead of the election may play spoilsport for the BJP candidate.

In Raver, the BJP’s Raksha Khadse will face off against the Nationalist Congress Party/NCP (SP)’s Shriram Patil.

In Jalna, the electoral contest features Raosaheb Dadarao Danve of the BJP competing against Kalyan Kale of the Congress. Jalna has been ground zero for the Maratha community’s agitation led by pro-quota activist Manoj Jarange.

In Pune, the BJP’s Murlidhar Mohol will lock horns with the Congress’s Ravindra Dhangekar. Last year, during the Kasba Peth assembly by-poll, Dhangekar defeated the BJP in the latter’s bastion. The Congress hopes for similar magic this time even as the BJP feels it has an advantage due to some big-ticket project the party pushed for.

In Ahmednagar, the BJP has fielded sitting MP Sujay Vikhe-Patil against the NCP (SP)’s Nilesh Lanke whereas in Beed, the BJP’s Pankaja Munde will lock horns with NCP (SP)’s Bajarang Sonawane.

In the 2019 general elections, the BJP had secured seven out of the 11 seats and its then alliance partner, Shiv Sena, had got two seats. At the same time, one seat each had been secured by the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen in Sambhajinagar and National Congress Party (undivided NCP) in Shirur.

Political observers feel that the fourth phase is important for the BJP to repeat its 2019 election performance amid issues like the Maratha quota agitation which originated in the Jalna district and may impact constituencies like Beed. Beed and Jalna are two important constituencies in this fourth phase of the election for the BJP.

According to political observers, the quota agitation later resulted in conflict between two major communities namely the Marathas and other backward castes (OBCs) across the state. Quota activist Manoj Jarange-Patil is from Jalna district. He rejected the 10% quota given by the state government and demanded that they get the benefits under the OBC category. This disagreement has caused tension within the Maratha community and the Mahayuti coalition. It has also divided people along caste lines.

Jitendra Narkhedkar from Beed, who runs a small business from Beed, feels that because of the Maratha and OBC reservation issues, the election in Marathwada might become a close contest between two groups. “This election is unlike any other election in the past. People are polarised over their respective caste and community. This is not only limited to the Beed and Jalna seats but may impact the neighbouring constituencies as well.”

According to Abhay Deshpande, political analyst, the fourth phase is crucial not only for the BJP but also for the Shiv Sena, which is fighting with the Uddhav Thackeray-led Sena for three seats in this phase even as the NCP is fighting with the NCP (SP) for one seat.

“This is crucial for the BJP because in 2019, only two seats were won by the opposition. Now, BJP is trying hard to repeat its performance on the Marathwada turf where we have seen two major quota agitations of the Marathas and OBCs. Can BJP repeat its performance amidst polarisation on the basis of caste in Jalna and Beed?” Deshpande said.

According to the state election commission, these eleven constituencies will go to polls in the fourth phase on Monday across 23,284 polling centres. There are a total 22,801,151 registered voters, comprising 11,859,645 men; 10,940,234 women; and 1,272 individuals identifying as third gender. With over 2.28 crore eligible voters, the fate of 298 candidates will be decided in this phase of the elections in the state.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Sunday, June 23, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On