MUMBAI: Most of the prominent leaders from all political parties in Maharashtra are confined only in their own constituencies are not touring Maharashtra for the campaign. Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, Prakash Ambedkar and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis are the only four leaders who are touring the state and addressing rallies.
While Pawar had been addressing at least two rallies every day, Thackeray and Ambedkar are averaging three rallies while CM Fadnavis addressed six rallies on Friday. While BJP has taken a lead in campaigning with rallies of union home minister Amit Shah, UP CM Yogi Adityanath and several other union ministers, most of its first rank leaders appear to be confined only to their respective constituencies. Same is the case with the Shiv Sena and the Congres.
Though Ajit Pawar and state NCP chief Jayant Patil have addressed a couple of rallies each out of their own constituencies, the party appears to be relying solely on Sharad Pawar for the campaign.
State BJP chief Chandrakant Patil is primarily confined to his new constituency of Kothrud in Pune. Patil, a first timer in assembly polls, faced stiff opposition from the constituency as an ‘outsider’ and as a ‘non-brahmin’ candidate after he replaced sitting BJP MLA Medha Kulkarni from the constituency.
For the most part of the last week, Patil was busy in containing the anger of local party workers and others in the constituency. He himself agreed that the stiff opposition has confined him to his own constituency.
Shiv Sena’s Aditya Thackeray too is conducting rallies across the state. However, compared to his rallies before the announcement of polls, his travel outside Mumbai is vastly restricted after he filed nomination from Worli in Mumbai.
Another prominent BJP leader confined only to his constituency is Eknath Khadse. Though he was denied nomination, the party gave a ticket to his daughter.
However, the tough opposition candidate coupled with the rebellion of the former Shiv Sena district head has confined him to his constituency to ensure victory of his daughter.
Former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Chavan too is confined to his Bhokar constituency in Nanded district. He was similarly confined to his constituency during Lok Sabha elections also.
After the defeat in Lok Sabha election, he is not ready to take any chances and hence has not left the constituency since BJP fielded former NCP leader Bapusaheb Gorthekar against him, said sources close to him.
Leader of opposition and a firebrand Congress leader Vijay Wadettiwar too is confined to his Brahmapuri constituency as Shiv Sena has fielded a strong candidate like Sandeep Geddamwar against him. AAP’s Paromita Goswami too is contesting from the constituency. He is rarely seen campaigning in other constituencies of Vidarbha region.
State Congress President Balasaheb Thorat too is busy with his Sangamner constituency after his arch-rival and former party colleague Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil joined the BJP. Thorat is extra cautious about his constituency after Vikhe-Patil switched over and hence is seen only at select rallies of the party in other constituencies.
Problem with another former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan is similar. Most of the Congress and NCP leaders from his home district Satara, including Udayanraje and Shivendraraje Bhosale, have joined the BJP. This has confined Chavan to his district.
Sushilkumar Shinde’s daughter Pranati, who is contesting from Solapur city, is facing a tough challenge from CPM’s Narsayya Adam. It has confined Shinde to his hometown.
Former Dy Chief Minister and NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal too is confined to his constituency Yeola in Nashik district, while state NCP Chief Jayant Patil has to devote more time to his constituency as Shiv Sena’ Gaurav Naikwadi has given a tough challenge to him in Islampur constituency of Sangli.
Former state NCP Chief Sunil Tatkare too his confined to his Shrivardhan constituency of Raigad district as his daughter Aditi is fighting he maiden battle for entry to the state assembly.