Constituency Watch: Amid Maratha Angst, BJP’s Central Minister Grapples With Old Congress Foe in Jalna

Constituency Watch: Amid Maratha Angst, BJP’s Central Minister Grapples With Old Congress Foe in Jalna

The Mahayuti-BJP’s heavyweight candidate, Minister of State for Railways, Raosaheb Danve, a 5-time sitting MP, is now aiming for a ‘double hat-trick’ in Jalna which he converted from a mercurial constituency to a party bastion since his election to the LS from here in 1999

IANSUpdated: Thursday, May 09, 2024, 07:33 PM IST
article-image
Constituency Watch: Amid Maratha Angst, BJP’s Central Minister Grapples With Old Congress Foe in Jalna |

In the Jalna Lok Sabha constituency, BJP leader Raosaheb Danve, the Union Minister of State, is facing Kalyan Kale of Congress. Ranked among the BJP’s safe seats, this time Jalna, Maharashtra’s ‘mosambi hub’, is witnessing a high-profile electoral war between a central minister and his old political foe from the Congress.

The Mahayuti-BJP’s heavyweight candidate, Minister of State for Railways, Raosaheb Danve, a 5-time sitting MP, is now aiming for a ‘double hat-trick’ in Jalna which he converted from a mercurial constituency to a party bastion since his election to the LS from here in 1999.

This time, Danve is pitted against his old rival of the 2009 LS elections from the newly-delimited constituency, the Congress’ Dr. Kalyan V Kale.

They had a tough fight but Danve scraped through narrowly, trouncing Dr. Kale with an 8,000-vote margin.

Apart from Danve and Dr. Kale, there is also the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA)’s nominee Prabhakar D Bakale in the fray.

2014, 2019 polls

Subsequently, in 2014 and 2019, the Congress changed its candidate, fielding Vilas K. Autade, which proved to be a boon for the BJP, and Danve increased his winning margins massively – 17 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively.

At that time, of course, he was ably aided by the two-consecutive PM Modi ‘waves’ in the country, which also considerably consolidated the BJP’s influence over Jalna, as in other parts of the state.

Though the circumstances have changed drastically in the last 15 years, with no perceptible wave around now, this time Jalna is also simmering with Maratha anger arising out of the six-month-long agitation launched here from August 2023.

This, local political observers aver, could lead to a flood of negative voting in many state LS constituencies in 2024, spelling doom for several candidates across parties, particularly affecting the ruling alliance, and making the outcome unpredictable.

Maratha quota protest

It may be recalled that the Shivba Sanghatana leader Manoj Jarange-Patil had pushed the Mahayuti government of Shiv Sena-BJP-NCP to the brink with his massive agitation, processions, four rounds of hunger strikes, and mammoth rallies for Maratha quotas.

Though the agitation officially ended in January, the Marathas were far from satisfied with the government’s ‘assurances’, and Jarange-Patil even flirted briefly with Prakash Ambedkar’s VBA to launch a fourth political front in the state.

Sprawled across two districts, Jalna and Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar, the Jalna LS constituency comprises six Assembly segments, of which three are held by the BJP, two by ruling ally Shiv Sena and one by the Congress.

They are the BJP’s Phulambri (MLA Haribhau Bagade), Bhokardan (MLA Santosh Danve, son of Raosaheb Danve), Badnapur-SC (MLA Narayan Kuche); Shiv Sena’s Sillod (MLA Abdul Sattar) and Paithan (MLA Sandeepanrao Bhumre, currently contesting the adjoining Aurangabad LS seat); and Congress’ Jalna (MLA Kailash Gorantyal).

A commercial hub with a rich history, Jalna is famed in the state for its luscious and highest production of ‘mosambis’ (sweet lemons) which are savoured across the country and even abroad, its powerloom-handloom units, the thriving beedi industry, hybrid-seeds manufacturing, steel-rolling mills, etc.

RECENT STORIES

PUNE CCTV VIDEO: Woman Flung Into Air After Being Hit By Speeding Car Driven By Cop's Son In...

PUNE CCTV VIDEO: Woman Flung Into Air After Being Hit By Speeding Car Driven By Cop's Son In...

PHOTOS: 10 Lakes In Pune You Should Visit This Monsoon

PHOTOS: 10 Lakes In Pune You Should Visit This Monsoon

Explore 5 Historical Temples In Nashik: From Kalaram Mandir To Dutondya Maruti (IN PICTURES)

Explore 5 Historical Temples In Nashik: From Kalaram Mandir To Dutondya Maruti (IN PICTURES)

Pune: Another Tragic Accident at Chandani Chowk Kills Two

Pune: Another Tragic Accident at Chandani Chowk Kills Two

Nashik Teachers' Constituency : Three-Way Battle between Darade, Kolhe and Gulave

Nashik Teachers' Constituency : Three-Way Battle between Darade, Kolhe and Gulave