Maharashtra Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Lost Glory V/S Modi’s Word

Mumbai: The high-octane campaign in Ramtek, Nagpur, BhandaraGondiya, Gadchiroli-Chimur and Chandrapur seats concluded on Wednesday for the first phase polling on April 19. The traditional rivals, the BJP and the Congress, are again pitted against each other in these constituencies, although the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi and Bahujan Samaj Party are also in the fray. In all, 97 candidates are trying their luck at the hustings. For BJP, the contest is all about consolidating its strength in Vidarbha, while for the grand old party it is a desperate gambit to regain lost glory. The BJP is riding on Modi’s guarantee and firing on all cylinders to realise its ambitious ‘Aab ki baar 400 paar’ mission at the national level and ‘45 plus’ in Maharashtra.

The BJP has strongly pitched its Viksit Bharat 2047 vision and its roadmap for the transformation of these five constituencies. On the other hand, the Congress party, though it messed up its campaigning initially due to internal rivalries, subsequently put its act together to face the BJP juggernaut. It has largely harped on the BJP worn-out rhetoric exposing its jumla politics. Both the BJP and the Congress are expected to step up their outreach after the Lok Sabha elections, as the state assembly elections are slated for September-October. d

Incidentally, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and the NCP (SP) combine led by Sharad Pawar have a little presence in east Vidarbha and their leaders have kept aside their egos to help the Congress party. However, Shiv Sena UBT and NCP-SP need to fan out in the Vidarbha region to stay relevant in the coming assembly elections. Union Minister and BJP nominee Nitin Gadkari, who had won the 2014 and 2019 elections, is seeking a third term from Nagpur, primarily riding on Modi’s guarantees and a slew of development works carried out by him in the constituency. Gadkari faces a fight from Congress nominee Vikas Thakre who has sought votes on the strength of his work as a mayor and a legislator.

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