Who Is Ravindra Dhangekar? All You Need To Know About Congress Candidate For Pune Lok Sabha Seat

Who Is Ravindra Dhangekar? All You Need To Know About Congress Candidate For Pune Lok Sabha Seat

Ravindra Dhangekar gained prominence in 2022 when he achieved an unexpected victory in the Kasba Peth bypolls, a stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Aakash SinghUpdated: Thursday, March 21, 2024, 09:37 PM IST
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Who Is Ravindra Dhangekar? All You Need To Know About Congress Candidate For Pune Lok Sabha Seat | X/@DhangekarINC

Congress leader and Kasba Peth MLA Ravindra Dhangekar has been chosen as Maha Vikas Aghadi's (MVA) candidate for the Pune Lok Sabha seat.

Dhangekar gained prominence in 2022 when he achieved an unexpected victory in the Kasba Peth bypolls, a stronghold of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

A former Shiv Sena member, Dhangekar entered politics under the influence of Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray's inspiring speeches. He was a devoted follower of Raj Thackeray during his tenure with the Sena and later joined him in the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS). Dhangekar contested civic elections for the first time in 1997 and emerged victorious. Subsequently, he served as a corporator five times until 2022.

As an MNS candidate, Dhangekar made significant strides in Kasba Peth during the 2009 Assembly elections, where he gave tough competition to the then-incumbent legislator, Girish Bapat of the BJP, losing by just over 8,000 votes. Despite facing defeat, Dhangekar contested against Bapat once again in the 2014 Assembly polls, albeit succumbing to the Modi wave.

In 2017, feeling marginalised within the MNS, Dhangekar switched allegiance to the Congress after his attempts to join the BJP were unsuccessful. That year, he contested as an Independent in the Pune civic polls with Congress support, defeating BJP heavyweight Ganesh Bidkar.

Upon the declaration of his candidature, Dhangekar will now face BJP's Murlidhar Mohol in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

What do the numbers say?

The Pune Lok Sabha constituency encompasses six Assembly segments. These include Vadgaon Sheri, represented by NCP (AP)'s Sunil Tingre, Shivajinagar, held by BJP's Siddharth Shirole, Kothrud, with Chandrakant Patil from BJP serving as the MLA, Parvati, represented by BJP's Madhuri Misal, Pune Cantonment, where BJP's Sunil Kamble holds office, and Kasba Peth, represented by Dhangekar himself.

In the 2019 elections, the late Girish Bapat of the BJP emerged victorious, defeating Congress' Mohan Joshi. This victory underscored the BJP's growing influence in Pune, despite historical leanings towards the Congress. Over time, the BJP has steadily expanded its vote share, indicating an increasing appeal among Pune's electorate.

In contrast, Congress has encountered difficulties maintaining its electoral foothold, with its vote share experiencing fluctuations. Despite concerted efforts, Congress has struggled to match the BJP's ascending dominance in Pune.

Overall, while both parties wield significant influence in various segments of the Pune Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP currently holds the advantage, as demonstrated by its recent electoral triumphs and rising popularity among voters.

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