Maharashtra Poll Diary: BJP's Nanded fears and an MLA ally's jolt for Eknath Shinde

It can be said that after Ashok Chavan joined BJP, Nanded has been perceived as a safe seat for the BJP. But the story from the ground is different.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah seen addressing a gathering during a rally in Nanded on June 10, 2023. (File Photo | PTI)
Union Home Minister Amit Shah seen addressing a gathering during a rally in Nanded on June 10, 2023. (File Photo | PTI)

Nanded jitters for BJP despite Ashok Chavan crossing over

Nanded Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra is where BJP's Prataprao Govindrao Chikhalikar, the sitting MP, is taking on Congress party's Vasant Balvantrao Chavan Patil. Avinash Bosikar of the Vanchit Bahujan Aaghadi (VBA) is also in the race.

In 2019, Prataprao Govindrao Chikhalikar secured 4,86,806 (43.10 %) votes to defeat Ashok Chavan of the Congress. Chavan had then secured 4,46,658 votes (39.55%).

Interestingly, this time around, Chavan, a former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, has been campaigning for the victory of Prataprao Govindrao Chikhalikar. Chavan crossed over from Congress to the BJP in February this year. The Congress has claimed that Chavan joined the BJP fearing Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids. He has rubbished the allegation.

In an interview to an English-language daily, Chavan was asked whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are campaigning in the constituency because the party is doubtful of winning Nanded. He swatted the suggestion aside, stressing that it is a winning seat and that every PM has visited the constituency from the time of Indira Gandhi.

Of the six assembly segments in Nanded, Bhokar is vacant. Nanded North is with the Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde. Nanded South and Delgur (SC) constituencies are with the Congress while Naigaon and Mukhed are with the BJP.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah seen addressing a gathering during a rally in Nanded on June 10, 2023. (File Photo | PTI)
Congress wants Sangali, in turn offers Mumbai North to Sena (UBT)

It can be said that after Ashok Chavan joined BJP, Nanded has been perceived as a safe seat for the BJP. But the story from the ground is different.

This is the reason perhaps why Nanded is one of the constituencies that could witness PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah campaigning together.

Seeing is believing!

Another seat and a more real jolt to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi.

BJP MLA Ganpat Gaikwad's spouse Sulabha Gaikwad (in the green sari) was seen actively campaigning for Shiv Sena (UBT) candidate Vaishali Darekar (Left) in Kalyan against Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde’s son and sitting Sena Lok Sabha MP Dr Shrikant Shinde. A home run-in for the CM you could term it.

Talk about a picture worth a thousand words!

Union Home Minister Amit Shah seen addressing a gathering during a rally in Nanded on June 10, 2023. (File Photo | PTI)
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