Snatched By BJP In 2019, NCP (SP) Bastion Madha May Play Truant

Snatched By BJP In 2019, NCP (SP) Bastion Madha May Play Truant

In the 2019 elections spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even Madha crumbled under the BJP tsunami when its candidate Ranjeetsingh Naik-Nimbalkar sailed through, opening the party's account here.

IANSUpdated: Sunday, April 28, 2024, 02:24 PM IST
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For one, a young and strong BJP local leader, Dhairyasheel Mohite-Patil hopped over to the Nationalist Congress Party (SP) in the run-up to the 2024 general elections and was promptly rewarded with a Lok Sabha ticket for Madha. |

The 15-year-old Madha Lok Sabha constituency in Solapur has been a (undivided) Nationalist Congress Party stronghold which was among the few in the country that overcame the first Bharatiya Janata Party wave in 2014.

However, in the 2019 elections spearheaded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even Madha crumbled under the BJP tsunami when its candidate Ranjeetsingh Naik-Nimbalkar sailed through, opening the party's account here. In 2024, there's again a question mark on the BJP's prospects here -- owing to several factors - though the party has given a ticket from Madha again to Naik-Nimbalkar -- a descendant of the erstwhile royal family of the Phaltan Kingdom.

For one, a young and strong BJP local leader, Dhairyasheel Mohite-Patil hopped over to the Nationalist Congress Party (SP) in the run-up to the 2024 general elections and was promptly rewarded with a Lok Sabha ticket for Madha. Another big jolt to BJP was when the ex-deputy chief minister Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil suddenly walked over for a 'ghar-wapasi' with his old party NCP (SP) and he warmly hugged his old senior friends Sharad Pawar and Sushilkumar Shinde, in mid-April 2024.

Incidentally, it was in 2019 -- when Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil had quit the (undivided) NCP -- that the party (NCP-SP) had also forfeited Madha to the BJP in the second 'Modi wave'. Nevertheless, this time Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil, along with Sharad Pawar and other important Solapur leaders have publicly vowed to vanquish the BJP here and ensure the victory of INDIA-Maha Vikas Aghadi-NCP (SP) combined candidate Dhairyasheel Mohite-Patil's victory, putting a poser on the chances of BJP's Naik-Nimbalkar.

Naik-Nimbalkars present at MVA campaign

Another rattling embarrassment was in store for the BJP when many members of the blue-blooded Naik-Nimbalkar clan, including Shrimant Subhadraraje Pratapsinha, Raghunathraje, Priyalakshmiraje, Shivanjaliraje Sanjeevraje, Aniketraje, Ramraje, Satyajitraje Sanjeevraje, plus Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil and other top MVA leaders were present to kick-start Dhairyasheel Mohite-Patil's poll campaign.

After all, the Madha LS seat plus the Solapur district have been a traditional bastion of the Mohite-Patil bloodline for over 70 years till the BJP breached it in 2019. On its part, the NCP (SP) has made it a prestige issue to reclaim its stronghold from the BJP at all costs, and its top leaders are campaigning vigorously in Madha.

Earlier a part of the now-defunct Pandharpur LS seat, Madha has been a Congress-NCP and Republican Party of India (A) stronghold till 2019 when BJP opened its account here. In 2009, it first elected Sharad Pawar, in 2014 overpowered the Modi wave to elect Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil of NCP (SP), followed by the BJP's Naik-Nimbalkar in 2019.

With a combined voter strength of over 13 lakh, Madha LS constituency comprises six assembly segments of which two are with BJP, two with (undivided) NCP, and one each with Shiv Sena and an Independent winner. They are -- Karmala (Independent MLA Sanjay Shinde); Madha (NCP MLA Baban Shinde); Sangola (Shiv Sena MLA Shahajibapu Patil); Malshiras-SC (BJP MLA Ram Satpute, contesting Solapur-SC seat for LS); Phaltan-SC (NCP MLA Dipak P. Chavan); and Man (BJP MLA Jaykumar Gore). The region is famed for an old fort constructed by the Naik-Nimbalkars, the historic Modheshwari Temple and other religious places. 

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