Fortune of 12 candidates from Western Maharashtra to be decided
The political fortunes of 12 candidates from Western Maharashtra, including three Union Ministers, will be declared during the counting to be held tomorrow in respective seats.
There are eleven seats in the region including Shirdi, Ahmednagar, Shirur, Pune, Mawal, Baramati, Solapur, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur and Hatkanangle.
Prominent among them are Solapur, Baramati, Madha and Mawal, all from western Maharashtra.
A very tough fight is expected in Pune, where Congress candidate Vishwajit Kadam is contesting for the first time. He is the son of state minister Patangrao Kadam, a prominent candidate for the chief ministership for long time and has to prove his political standing with his son's win.
Mr Kadam's rival BJP candidate Anil Shirole is contesting for second time. Earlier, he was defeated by Suresh Kalmadi of Congress by a margin of 25,000 votes in 2009 due to division of votes by the candidate of Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena.
This time also, the fear of division of votes looms large over Mr Shirole as the MNS' Deepak Paigude (the former MLA) is in the ring.
The most prestigious fight for the Nationalist Congress Party is on its supremo and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's previous constituency Madha, from where he was elected in 2009 and now this time was alloted to Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil, a lieutenant of Mr Pawar, who was sidelined from politics for long time and to reinstate him Mr Pawar vacated the seat.
Vijaysinh Mohite's brother Pratapsinh is contesting as independant against him along with Sadabhau Khot of Shetkari Sanghatna, who is supported by anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare.
However, NCP's prestige is at stake in Mr Pawar's home constituency Baramati, from where his daughter Supriya Sule is contesting for the second time. Her nearest rival is Mahadev Jankar of BJP-Shiv Sena.
Another crucial seat is Solapur where the prestige of Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is also at stake. He had won the last election by a margin of three lakh votes in 2009, but this time the Modi effect may dent his margin.
The other prestigious seats are Sangli, Satara and Mawal, where political fortunes of Union Minister Prateek Patil, Udayan Raje Bhonsale and Rahul Narvekar are respectively at stake.
(Posted on 16-05-2014)