Election campaign in Western Maharashtra ends
The hectic campaigning for three Lok Sabha constituencies in sugar and gur belt of the Western Maharashtra, including Kolhapur, Hatkanangale in Kolhapur district and Sangli in neighbouring Sangli district, for the April 17 Lok Sabha elections came to an end at 1700 hours today.
As many as fifteen candidates are in fray for Kolhapur seat including Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Dhananjay Mahadik, Shiv Sena's Dr Sanjay Mandlik, who joined the Sena after resigning from Congress, Sampatrao Pawar-Patil (Peasants and Workers Party), Narayan Pawar (AAP) and Atul Dighe (Lal Nishan Party). In Hatkanangale, there are thirteen candidates including Kallappa Awade (Congress), Raju Shetty (Swabhimani Party), Raghunath Patil (AAP) and Suresh Patil (Independent).
While in Sangli parliamentary constituency, as many as 17 candidates are contesting the election for the lone seat, but main tussle on cards is between Congress candidate and Union Minister of State for Coal Pratik Patil and Bhartiya Janata Party candidate Sanjaykaka Patil, who resigned from NCP and joined BJP.
During the campaigning, leaders resorted to personal attacks on each other such as between NCP leaders and Sena candidate Sanjay Mandlik and his father Sadashivrao Mandlik, who is sitting MP from Kolhapur. Besides this, Congress and NCP leaders highlighted various development works implemented by Congress-led government at centre, including Food Security act, Rajiv Gandhi Health Scheme, while opposition traded charges of government's failure on all fronts including price hike and rampant corruption scams among others.
In this election, the Congress and NCP leaders succeeded to bring various groups in both camps on one platform in two LS constituencies of Kolhapur and Hatkanangale.
NCP president Sharad Pawar and Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan came twice in the district for campaigning. Now, both candidates Mr Mahadik and Mr Awade should do their best to maintain harmony in next two days.
Both Mr Pawar and Mr Chavan gave a clear message in their election meetings to local leaders of to keep aside their differences and work unitedly for the candidates.
In the Sangli LS constituency, BJP candidate Mr Patil targetted state home minister R R Patil, while Congress candidate Pratik Patil highlighted various development works of central government.
In the last stage of campaigning, Mr Pawar addressed the election meetings in Kolhapur and Hatkanangale for both Congress candidates -- Mr Mahadik (NCP) and Mr Awade (Congress) respectively.
Besides Chief Minister Mr Chavan, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, home minister R R Patil and main campaigners for Mr Awade, rural development minister Jayant Patil and NCP senior leader Supriya Sule.
While for the Mahayuti candidates Mr Mandlik (SS) and Mr Shetty (Swabhimani Party), yoga guru Baba Ramdev, Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, BJP senior leader Gopinath Munde, campaigned in both constituencies of the district.
For the loan Sangli Lok Sabha constituency, BJP candidate Mr Patil got a big boost with BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressing a rally in Sangli.
The other star campaigners of BJP were Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, Mr Munde, party chief Devendra Fadnavis also addressed meetings to garner support of the people for Mr Patil.
While the star campaigners of Congress were Chief Minister Mr Chavan, home minister Mr Patil, forest minister Patangrao Kadam and rural development minister Jayant Patil also campaigned for Pratik Patil.
(Posted on 15-04-2014)