Mixed bag: BJP wins 6 seats, Congress 4, NCP 1, Independent 1 in Nagpur district

Nagpur: Results of State Assembly elections in Nagpur district sprang some surprises in 12 seats. It emerged as a mixed bag for major parties with BJP winning six seats, Congress four, NCP one and an Independent bagging one seat.

Nagpur South-West:
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has won from Nagpur South-West constituency. Fadnavis was leading by 12806 votes after sixth round. Fadnavis defeated Congress candidate Dr Ashish Deshmukh. It is fifth consecutive victory of Fadnavis and a hat-trick of win from the constituency.

Nagpur East:
BJP’s Krishna Khopde won Nagpur East seat by a huge margin. He defeated Congress candidate Purshottam Hazare. Khopde was leading by 20,000 votes after 15th round. It is Khopde’s third consecutive win from Nagpur East constituency. As compared to him, Purushottam Hazare of Congress is a novice. He in fact was contesting Assembly elections for the first time. BJP was sure for this seat so it did not bother to send any star campaigner except Nitin Gadkar. Ex-Minister Satish Chaturvedi addressed several meetings for Hazare. Dr Sharmishtha Mukherjee, National Spokesperson of Congress too addressed a rally for him.

Nagpur North:
Dr Nitin Raut of Congress won from North Nagpur by trouncing BJP Dr Milind Mane in the crucial constituency. Raut wrested the seat from BJP which had won it in 2014 Assembly elections.Raut was leading by 16494 votes after 9th round and was certian to romp home. Raut emerged triumphant in a triangular fight in North Nagpur seat. Dr Nitin Raut is Working President of Congress’s SC Cell. BSP candidate Suresh Sakhare, who State President of party, gave a tough fight. Earlier BSP had focused with full force on North Nagpur. In fact Mayawati, BSP Supremo, addressed one rally that evoked a good response. Dr Raut had won from the constituency for 3 consecutive times in the past.

NCP’s Anil Deshmukh avenged the defeat in 2014 Assembly elections by emerging winner in Katol constituency. Katol constituency was a stronghold of Anil Deshmukh, senior leader of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). In 2014, however, he lost to his nephew and BJP candidate Dr Ashish Deshmukh. However, in 2018 Dr Deshmukh quit the party and joined Congress. Since then, BJP was scouting for candidate. In Charansingh Thakur, it got the candidate. BJP’s Thakur and NCP’s Anil Deshmukh were facing the contest this time. In 2014, Thakur did not contest Assembly polls. Since his loss in 2014, Anil Deshmukh had kept in touch with the electorate and has been engaging in agitations in the constituency which turned the game in his side.

Nagpur Central:
BJP’s Vikas Kumbhare won from Nagpur Central constituency by a narrow margin of votes. Kumbhare defeated Congress candidate Bunty Shelke. It was a see-saw poll battle as both the candidates were leading in one round or another. In the final round of counting of votes, Kumbhare took lead and emerged winner. The AIMIM candidate Abdul Sharif Patel spoiled the party of Congress candidate by garnering a chunk of Muslim votes.

With Congress fielding Bunty Shelke, a novice in Assembly elections, everybody speculated Vikas Kumbhare of BJP will win the election. However, Shelke gave a tough fight to Kumbhare taking the counting till very last round. Kumbhare registered his first win in 2009 and now was secured his hat-rick. Despite from development works, his name was known in the every households played key role in Kumbhare’s victory.

Kumbhare took a lot of efforts to develop this part of Nagpur. Dharmendra Mandlik of BSP and Kamlesh Bhagatkar of Vanchit were posing tough fights in this constituency.

Nagpur West:
City Congress President Vikas Thakre emerged winner from Nagpur West constituency by defeating BJP Sudhakar Deshmukh by a margin of 6400 votes. There was lot of resentment among the people against Sudhakar Deshmukh, who according to them, did not turn up even a once. Speculations were rife that he might not get ticket. Earlier Vikas Thakre had made an emotional appeal to the voters which appeared to make an impact all together.

Nagpur South:
In a closely contested poll battle, BJP’s Mohan Mate scrambled to victory in Nagpur South constituency. Mohan Mate was leading by 1600 votes against Congress candidate Girish Pandav after 21st round of counting of votes.

In this constituency both Congress’s Pandav and BJP’s Mate were new. In the sense neither BJP continued Sudhakar Kohale, sitting MLA, nor Congress brought Satish Chaturvedi who stood second last time. Mohan Mate had won from this constituency in 1995 but then BJP had offered this seat to Shiv Sena constantly and Mate contested as rebel candidate. His only plus point was during all these years he didn’t not lose a touch with the constituency. Though Pandav was carrying legacy of his late father Krishnarao Pandav he did not have experience of contesting any election, which clearly seems to backfire at Congress.

Ramtek seat sprang a surprise be electing Shiv Sena rebel Adv Ashish Jaiswal who contested the Assembly election as an Independent candidate. BJP had fielded the sitting MLA D Mallikarjun Reddy. Jaiswal was leading by 17454 votes after 9th round. Jaiswal defeated BJP’s Mallikarjun Reddy and Congress’s Udaysingh Yadav to score his fourth win in the constituency.

BJP had repeated Reddy as its candidate for the second time in 2019. This had irked Jaiswal, former MLA and Shiv Sena leader, who represented this constituency thrice in 1999, 2004 and 2009. In 2014, when BJP and Shiv Sena decided to contest Assembly elections separately, both fielded their candidates from Ramtek. BJP’s Reddy defeated Shiv Sena’s Jaiswal by a margin of over 12,000 votes.

This year, BJP and Shiv Sena were contesting in alliance and Shiv Sena has left the constituency for BJP. Peeved Jaiswal contested as an Independent candidate and emerged on top.

Sunil Kedar of Congress won from Saoner seat defeating BJP’s Dr Rajiv Potdar by a margin of 20365 votes. Saoner is a stronghold of Kedar, who has been getting elected consistently. He initially won as Independent and later contested as Congress candidate. BJP has been trying to unsettle Kedar’s position. However, the party failed in this election, too.

Congress candidate Sudhir Parwe won from Umred (SC) constituency by defeating BJP’s Sudhir Parwe. In 2009, when BJP picked Sudhir Parwe, a Zilla Parishad candidate, as candidate for Assembly constituency, it surprised many. But, Parwe proved his metal in the big electoral battle. In 2009, Congress candidate Shirish Meshram was second. In 2014, Congress candidate Sanjay Meshram finished a distant fourth. Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Rukshdas Bansod was second and Independent candidate Sudhir Parwe finished third. This time, Sudhir Parwe of BJP was seeking to score a hatrick. However, his bother Sudhir deprived him of the chance. Congress had fielded Sudhir Parwe as its candidate. It was a ‘Parwe vs Parwe’ contest. Rukshdas Bansod was again in the fray, this time as Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi candidate.

BJP’s Sameer Meghe has retained his Hingna seat by defeating NCP’s Vijay Ghodmare. Meghe was leading by 28729 votes after 17th round.

Congress candidate Nana Patole scored victory in Sakoli constituency by defeating BJP’s Parinay Fuke by a margin of 12,000 votes. In 2014, BJP replaced Ghodmare with a young face Sameer Meghe. Since then, BJP has been consolidating its position in the constituency that is in close proximity to Nagpur city. BJP rebel Ghodmare had jointed NCP last month. And NCP pitted Ghodmare as its candidate against Meghe. Considering the position in the past, Meghe’s position appeared to be stronger than that of Ghodmare. And Meghe again delivered victory from the Hingna constituency.

BJP’s Tekchand Sawarkar has emerged winner from Kamptee constituency in a closely fought Assembly election. Sawarkar defeated Suresh Bhoyar of Congress.

All eyes were on Kamptee constituency. For, BJP decided not to repeat Chandrashekar Bawankule, Energy Minister and Guardian Minister of district, as its candidate from this constituency. Bawankule didn’t keep any grudge and kept working wholeheartedly for Tekchand Sawarkar, BJP candidate this time. Sawarkar is a close aide of Bawankule and husband of Nisha Sawarkar, former President of Zilla Parishad. Bawankule had built this constituency into a forte of BJP. In 2009, he won by a margin of 31,000 votes. In 2014, he defeated Congress candidate Rajendra Mulak by a margin of over 40,000 votes. This time, Congress had fielded Suresh Bhoyar, former President of Zilla Parishad. Though there was contest given the work done by Bawankule and BJP’s strong network, Sawarkar sailed through smoothly.