Gadkari files nomination from Nagpur, 183 in fray for 5 Maharashtra seats

The Asian Age.

India, Politics

An intense fight between Mahayuti and MVA is expected for the five Lok Sabha seats that go to poll in the first phase in Maharashtra

Union Minister and BJP candidate Nitin Gadkari with Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and others takes out a rally before filing his nomination papers for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, in Nagpur, Wednesday, March 27, 2024. (PTI)

Mumbai: Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday filed his nomination for the Nagpur Lok Sabha seat. He was accompanied by several senior leaders including Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde, DCM Devendra Fadnavis and NCP leader Praful Patel. The BJP turned the occasion into a massive show of strength rally.

Nagpur is one of the five Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra that will go to poll on April 19. Wednesday was the last date for filing nominations for those seats. The other four seats include Ramtek (reserved for SC category), Gadchiroli-Chimur (reserved for ST category), Chandrapur and Bhandara-Gondiya.

An intense fight between the BJP-led Mahayuti and Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) is expected for the five Lok Sabha seats that go to poll in the first phase in Maharashtra. The deadline for filing nominations for the five seats — Nagpur, — ended on Wednesday evening. Union minister Nitin Gadkari will be in the fray from the Nagpur seat. He filed his nomination on the last day in presence of Shiv Sena has fielded Congress turncoat MLA Raju Parwe from the Ramtek seat. Prakash Ambedkar led VBA (Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi) has nominated candidates in three seats, which is likely to dent MVA’s votes. The VBA has extended its support to Congress candidate Vikas Thakre in Nagpur Lok Sabha seat.

The BJP has nominated its heavyweight leaders Nitin Gadkari and Sudhir Mungantiwar in the first phase of the election, while the Congress party has picked up new faces. Nitin Gadkari has been pitted against Vikas Thakre, who is Nagpur City Congress president and Maharashtra legislator.

Mr. Mungantiwar, who is senior cabinet minister in Maharashtra government and OBC face of the BJP, filed his nomination paper on Tuesday from Chandrapur Lok Sabha constituency. He will face Congress candidate Pratibha Dhanorkar, who is wife of late Congress MP Suresh Dhanorkar. In 2019, Suresh Dhanrokar had defeated BJP’s Hansaraj Ahir.

Congress’s Umred assembly constituency MLA Raju Parwe, who on Sunday joined Eknath Shinde led Shiv Sena after resigning from state legislature, filed his nomination papers from Ramtek constituency. Congress has fielded Rashmi Barve from Ramtek, which has been a stronghold of the Congress party.

In Gadchiroli-Chimur, the Congress has fielded Namdeo Kirsan against BJP’s sitting Lok Sabha MP Ashok Nete, who filed his nomination on Monday.

The BJP has fielded its sitting MP Sunil Mendhe from Bhandara-Gondia, where the Congress fielded Dr. Prashant Padole.

The VBA has fielded its candidate Sanjay Kevat in Bhandara-Gondia, Hitesh Madavi in Gadchiroli-Chimur, Rajesh Belle in Chandrapur.

An official from state branch of Election Commission of India (ECI) said that 54 candidates have filed nominations in Nagpur constituency, followed by 41 candidates in Ramtek (SC), 40 candidates in Bhandara-Gondiya, 36 candidates in Chandrapur, and 12 candidates in Gadchiroli-Chimur (ST). Thus, a total 183 candidates have filed their nominations on five seats of first phase. The last date for withdrawal of nomination is April 30.

In the last Lok Sabha election, the BJP-Shiv Sena (undivided) alliance won eight out of 10 seats in Vidarbha region. Remaining two seats- namely Chandrapur and Amravati were won by the Congress and independent candidate Navneet Rana, who was then backed by NCP (united) respectively. However, Navneet later supported the BJP. This time, Ms Rana is the BJP candidate in Amravati Lok Sabha seat, which is going to polls in the second phase.