On Monday afternoon, NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s rally received a huge response where he flayed Modi for politicizing the Balakot attacks and the soldiers killed in Pulwama blasts. He called on people to vote for party’s candidate Rajendra Shingane who had fought polls with MP Prataprao Jadhav in 2009 but lost by a narrow margin of 28,000 votes.
He was followed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis who addressed a massive rally in Chikhli, about an hour away from Buldhana. He not only targeted Pawar but also Congress chief Rahul Gandhi by comparing his declarations with an entertainment channel, which carries disclaimers.
While explaining development works carried out by his government and those at centre for Buldhana, the CM appealed to people to vote for Jadhav who is eyeing a hat-trick of wins from this constituency.
After them, it was the turn of second-rung leadership to take out rallies on Tuesday. NCP state president Jayant Patil addressed the public at Khamgaon in afternoon and criticized Modi government for going back on its promises. Later, former MLA Dilipkumar Sananda took out a rally at same places.
Earlier in morning, Jadhav took out a massive rally where hundreds joined him in Buldhana’s Sangam Chowk. It was a saffron surge at all major squares in Buldhana. People were seen responding to Jadhav’s calls.
Due to presence of political bigwigs, Buldhana, which is a sleepy town, suddenly turned into a happening place with rallies, banners, posters and even traditional band continuing from morning to evening, since last week. All home, offices, kiosk or elsewhere, the only topic of discussions is elections.
Prakash Ambnedkar’s Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) is also not behind in campaigning where he himself had addressed a couple of rallies in support of their candidate MLA Baliram Shiraskar.
Poll analysts have already predicted a tough fight between Jadhav and Shingane. Both belong to the dominant Maratha community and their victory would depend on how much they secure from their own people.
Cooperative sector is another dominant factor in the Buldhana politics and both are major players of it. While Shingane served as chairman of Buldhana Cooperative Bank, Jadhav was his deputy.
Analysts term Jadhav as favourite to win his third term as Shingane was not in fray after losing in 2009 polls. They said VBA and BSP would also eat into Congress votes which would be a big disadvantage for Shingane.