Shiv Sena and NCP main rivals in Parbhani
A neck - and neck contest will be seen in the Parbhani Lok Sabha seat, going to polls in the second phase on April 17, with NCP candidate Vijay Bhamble and Shiv Sena nominee and sitting MP Parbhani MLA Bandu Jadhav locked in a straight fight.
The 17 candidates vying from this constituency, including Salma Kulkarni (AAP), Gulmir Kha (BSP), Adv Ajay Karande-Patil (SP), Rajan Kshirsagar(CPI) and others from smaller parties and Independents.
Parbhani Lok Sabha constituency comprises four Assembly segments Jintur, Parbhani, Gangakhed and Pathri of Parbhani district and rest of two Partur and Ghanswangi segments of Jalna district in Marathwada.
Total 1,82,089 voters, including 9,45,234 males, will exercise their franchise at 1,974 polling centres in the district.
This constituency is mainly dominated by Maratha voters and also has sizeable presence of Muslims, Dalits, OBCs and upper caste Hindus.
The constituency has been sending Shiv Sena MPs for nearly 25 years since 1989, except in 1998 when Congress nominee Suresh Varpudkar had won the election.
Shiv Sena has been dominating in Parbhani politics since 1989. But interestingly, whoever gets elected to the Lok Sabha on the party ticket, leaves the party after end of his five year term, after developing differences with the party top brass.
They are Ashok Deshmukh, Suresh Jadhav, Tukaram Rege-Patil and Ganesh Dudhgaonkae who have thrown their weight behind the NCP nominee Mr Bhamble.
In 2009 elections, Sena candidate Mr Dudgaonkar defeated his nearest rival NCP's Suresh Varpudkar by 65,000 votes, while BSP candidate Rajshree Jamge garnered 64,000 votes.
The parties fielded mostly new faces in poll arena However, the BSP factor again attempting to attract the Dalit and Muslim votes in this election, may hamper both main candidates.
AAP has fielded Salma Kulkarni, a rationalist and social activist, while CPI has fielded activist Rajan Kshirsagar. However, with the poll day approaching, the constituency is slated to witness a straight fight between Sena and the NCP.
The NCP leadership has made it a prestige issue to ensure Bhamble's victory in Parhani. They said. "We hope to win the election as people are fed up with the Shiv Sena's divisive politics," while Sena camps says, situation is favourable as always for the party in this election too but, Sena is filling the vaccum of the late Sena chief Balashaeb Thackeray in this election.
NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan addressed election rallies in favour of Bhamble while Sena president Uddhav Thackeray addressed election rally in support of Jadhav so far.
The AAP candidate focused on corner meetings highlighting the issues ranging from atrocities against Dalits, lack of employment opportunities, water and corruption.
Population in rural areas mainly comprises farmers or farm labourers. The urban pockets too have not seen development.
Despite railway connectivity, the fruits of development associated with the rail line have not reached the constituency.
Since 1952 Lok Sabha elections, Congress has won eight times, Shiv Sena six times while PWP has won once in this constituency in 1977.
(Posted on 11-04-2014)