Munde Faces Challenge From Former Protege in Beed

Published: 09th April 2014 10:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th April 2014 10:07 AM   |  A+A-

Gopinath Munde_PTI

Senior BJP leader Gopinath Munde, seeking re-election from Beed Lok Sabha constituency in Marathwada region, faces challenge from his former protege who is now a NCP minister and an actor fielded by the Aam Aami Party.

However, the real fight, according to political observers, will be between Munde and NCP leaders Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar who have intensified efforts to defeat BJP's biggest mass leader in Maharashtra in his citadel.

With five of the total six Assembly segments in the constituency represented by NCP, Munde may find it an uphill task to maintain his winning margin of 1.5 lakh votes, say the observers. The constituency has 17,72,189 voters and goes to polls on April 17.

NCP has fielded former Munde protege Suresh Dhas, Maharashtra's minister of state for revenue, while the Aam Aami Party has nominated actor Nandu Madhav.

In 2009, Munde defeated NCP's Ramesh Adaskar, largely owing to the campaign handled by his nephew Dhananjay and daughter Pankaja. However, this time around, Dhananjay, NCP MLC, is campaigning against him. Pankaja, BJP MLA, is now steering his campaign.

As if to avenge NCP's weaning away Dhananjay, Munde has engineered a split in the local NCP camp, with several prominent NCP leaders joining the BJP recently.

The six Assembly segments in the Beed Lok Sabha constituency - Georai, Majalgoan, Beed, Ashti, Kaij and Parli - are part of the Marathwada region, considered backward in terms of development.

Beed district supplies most of the labour force for sugarcane harvest to western Maharashtra and Karnataka. The workforce has sizeable population of Marathas, Vanjaras, Muslims and Dalits.


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