In politics, like war, nothing goes according to plans. Situations change dramatically and drastically. Politics in North Nagpur is no different. The constituency is reserved for SC candidate and is Congress fort since years. But after Lok Sabha elections and sterling victory of BJP candidate, the equations have started to change. And the change is emerging as bad omen for Congress. Several disgruntled leaders and workers themselves are hell bent on giving a jolt to the party and smash the fort to the pieces. So intense is the rage that it will take years for Congress to gather the pieces and rebuild the fort. On the other hand, the Mahayuti (BJP-Shiv Sena-RPI-A combine) is facing a peculiar dilemma. Problem of plenty. Plenty of aspirants have started to line up for the State Assembly election tickets. The reason: Massive drift of Congress voters toward BJP.
Congress flag was flying high in North Nagpur constituency since past many elections as no powerful Opposition candidate was put up to challenge the party. But this time the atmosphere has turned cloudy. And the Congress chances are under cloud, too. In Lok Sabha poll, Congress candidate bagged 56206 votes, BJP got 74746 and BSP pocketed 33663 votes. The fact makes it clear the BJP cracked the Congress stronghold with heavy hand.
The North Nagpur constituency holds 50 percent Dalit community votes out of around 3 lakh voters. This area was once known for Republican movement. However, factionalism within led to weakening of its hold and birth of many Republican groups. Thereafter, the area has never ever been stronghold of Republican party. But Nitin Raut, by winning the last three Assembly elections, gave Congress a new life and also turned the constituency a party fortress. Raut successfully divided the Republican votes and brought them to Congress.
However, the situation has changed. Raut’s success has been overshadowed by internal bickering within his group. Now, several Congress office-bearers and workers are opposing candidature of Nitin Raut for coming Assembly elections. This rival group is being led by Raja Dronkar, once a Raut confidant. Moreover, Dronkar is receiving unflinching support from Raut rivals across the city. But the bitter truth is that apart from Raut, there is no candidate who can make Congress victorious or one can say that Raut never allowed any other Congress leaders dig their feet strongly and stand the ground in the constituency.
On the other hand, names of Vanita Tirpude, Madhusudan Gavai, Sandeep Gavai, G D Jambhulkar, Ranjit Safelkar are taking rounds as frontrunners for BJP ticket. In the last election, BJP had fielded for Mayor Rajesh Tambe. BJP thinking has always been fielding outside candidate in North Nagpur. Whosoever the BJP candidate, some sulking Congress leaders and workers could themselves help the party emerge victorious. This time Congress is first battling with its own men on the home turf. This battle may prove costly for the party in the Assembly elections.