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Constituency Watch: Sanjay Jadhav & Mahadev Jankar locked in direct fight in Maha's Parbhani LS seat

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Constituency Watch: Sanjay Jadhav & Mahadev Jankar locked in direct fight in Maha's Parbhani LS seat

Mumbai, April 22 (Ajit Weekly News) Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emotional appeal to the voters to elect “younger brother” Mahadev Jankar, who is the founder of Rashtriya Samaj Paksha and a MahaYuti ally, has brought a twist in the elections in Maharashtra’s Parbhani constituency in the drought-hit Marathwada region.

PM Modi’s call to elect Jankar to the Lok Sabha to speed up development of Parbhani and water scarcity hit Marathwada has made the fight more interesting as BJP is particularly arguing that with the election of PM Modi-led government and MahaYuti in Maharashtra, a slew of development projects can be taken up on a fast track basis.

Incidentally, Jankar comes from the Dhangar community which, along with Hatkar community, is almost 6.50 lakh in Parbhani and both these communities will play a major role in deciding the fate of Jankar or his immediate rival, and Shiv Sena UBT nominee and the sitting MP Sanjay Jadhav who comes from the politically important Maratha community.

In addition, the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) nominee Panjab Dakh and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate Gulam Alamgir are also in the fray, making the fight more nail-biting.

Although Jadhav and Jankar are locked in a direct fight, they face a huge challenge to avoid a split in their votes due to the presence of candidates from VBA and BSP.

After almost two decades, the poll symbols including bow and arrow, hand, clock and lotus will be missing from the Parbhani constituency for the first time.

Jankar is contesting on whistle symbol while Jadhav on flaming torch (mashal).

Further, Dakh is approaching voters with a gas cylinder as his party’s symbol and Alamgir with an elephant as the party’s symbol.

Jadhav is banking on over 8 lakh voters and around 2.5 lakh Muslim voters while Jankar apart from mobilising support from Dhangar and Hatkar communities is making efforts to lure nearly 5 lakh voters from various communities from Other Backward Classes and 3 lakh Dalits.

Jadhav hopes to cash in on the recent pro-Maratha reservation protests and also to get votes from Muslims and minorities who are quite vocal against the BJP.

Shiv Sena UBT chief Uddhav Thackeray along with Maha Vikas Aghadi partners addressed poll rallies for Jadhav with a resolve to retain the seat in order to derail BJP’s Mission 454 plus in Maharashtra.

NCP (SP) chief Sharad Pawar also held a poll rally for Jadhav who is hopeful to score a hat-trick.

On the other hand, Jankar, for whom NCP left its claim over Parbhani, is confident to ride on ‘Modi Guarantee’ and BJP’s traditional OBC vote bank.

However, Jankar and BJP will have to go the extra mile to keep the Dhangar community in good humour especially after the Bombay High Court last week dismissed a clutch of petitions which had sought Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the Dhangar (shepherd) community in Maharashtra.

NCP leader Rajesh Vitekar, who was claimant for the Parbhani seat, is at the forefront in Jankar’s campaign after he was pacified by party chief Ajit Pawar.

Apart from Vitekar, the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha legislator Ratnakar Gutte is mobilising the necessary resources for Jankar’s victory.

Moreover, all four candidates are laying emphasis on flagging off issues relating to water, infrastructure and unemployment, while Jankar in particular is taking up PM Modi’s ‘Viksit Bharat’ plank in his rallies.

Despite the heat wave with the temperature soaring to 42 degrees Celsius, these candidates are carrying out outreach to voters through corner meetings, house-to-house contacts and booth-level interactions.

In all, 21,18,653 voters will exercise their voting rights on April 26.

In the 2019 elections, Shiv Sena (undivided) nominee Sanjay Jadhav won the Parbhani seat by polling 5,38,941 votes against NCP (undivided) candidate Rajesh Vitekar who got 4,96,742 votes.

Shiv Sena (undivided) had fought the Parbhani seat in an alliance with the BJP.

In the 2014 elections, the Shiv Sena (undivided) nominee Sanjay Jadhav emerged victorious by polling 5,78,455 votes against NCP nominee Vijay Bhamle who got 4,51,300 votes.

This time too, the Shiv Sena had an alliance with BJP and contested the elections riding the ‘Modi wave’.

–Ajit Weekly News

sj/pgh


News Credits – I A N S

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