Lok Sabha Polls: Why Did BJP Choose Smita Wagh Over Sitting MP Unmesh Patil In Jalgaon?

Lok Sabha Polls: Why Did BJP Choose Smita Wagh Over Sitting MP Unmesh Patil In Jalgaon?

Wagh's candidacy marks a redemption of sorts, as she was initially overlooked in the 2019 elections in favor of Unmesh Patil. However, this decision faced criticism due to internal rifts within the party. Wagh's loyalty to the BJP, coupled with her extensive public relations across various talukas has earned her the nomination for the Jalgaon Lok Sabha seat.

Prashant NikaleUpdated: Thursday, March 14, 2024, 12:52 PM IST
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In a surprising turn of events, Jalgaon MP Unmesh Patil's candidacy has been revoked due to internal party opposition, paving the way for former MLA Smita Wagh to emerge as the BJP's candidate for the Jalgaon Lok Sabha seat. Raver MP Raksha Khadse, on the other hand, has retained her candidacy owing to her party loyalty and the influence of her father-in-law, Eknath Khadse.

The announcement of Smita Wagh's candidature elicited jubilant celebrations among her supporters, who gathered at her residence in Jalgaon, bursting firecrackers and expressing elation. Wagh's daughter also expressed emotional joy at her mother's nomination.

The Raver and Jalgaon candidature has been announced by the Maha Yuti alliance, which BJP is a part of, but on the other hand the Maha Vikas Aghadi of NCP (SP), Shiv Sena (UBT) and Congress is yet to decide about the seat sharing. Both Congress and NCP (SP) have claimed the seat in Raver. The Jalgaon Seat has been given to Shiv Sena (UBT), but the Raver seat issue has not been resolved yet. After 33 years, the Shiv Sena will contest the Jalgaon Constituency with interested candidates Dr. Harshal Mane and former Mayor Kulbhushan Patil.

Meanwhile, Wagh's candidacy marks a redemption of sorts, as she was initially overlooked in the 2019 elections in favor of Unmesh Patil. However, this decision faced criticism due to internal rifts within the party. Wagh's loyalty to the BJP, coupled with her extensive public relations across various talukas and her dedication to the party even after her husband's demise, has earned her the nomination for the Jalgaon Lok Sabha seat.

From Raver, interested candidates from the MVA are the mass leader Eknath Khadse, who has joined the NCP (SP). He has a good hold in all sections of society, especially Leva Patil community, but the party has limited strength of workers in the constituency. Shirish Chaudhary, who is a two-time Raver MLA is also interested in contesting for Lok Sabha. With these two, the name of Adv. Ravindra Patil, a representative of the Maratha community from the region, is also in the limelight.

In the upcoming elections, the BJP has demonstrated its commitment to gender representation by nominating women candidates to three out of four constituencies in Khandesh. This move underscores the party's recognition of women's leadership and their significant contributions to politics.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi will have to come up with strong opponents against the candidates announced by the BJP alliance. The Khandesh region was a fortress of Congress before 2014. But, from then on, the BJP has become a strong holding party in all elections.

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