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No Smooth Sailing for Sameer Bhujbal in Nashik

Monday, April 20, 2009 02:34:23 PM, Ummid.com Staff Reporter



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Nashik: Few years down the line Nashik was regarded as one of the strongest fortress of Shiv Sena (SS), the right wing Hindu party in Maharashtra. However in last few years the political scenario in this industrial hub changed dramatically and the tide began to flow in favour of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). The instrumental force behind this political turnaround was the State Dy. Chief Minister and NCP leader Chagan Bhujbal who after winning the assembly election from Yeola, a nearby town and becoming the Guardian Minister of the Nashik district diligently worked for the development of the areas in and round the Nashik city. So confident were the NCP activists of this constituency that after the election dates were declared, they urged their party Chief Sharad Pawar and Chagan Bhujbal to contest the parliamentary election from Nashik.


Nevertheless it was Sameer Bhujbal, the young and energetic nephew of Chagan Bhujbal who finally got the nod for this parliamentary seat that will go to the poll in the second phase scheduled for April 23. Though there are 21 candidates fighting for this prestigious seat famous for politically smart and aware local population, the real opposition Sameer Bhujbal faces is from Shiv Sena (SS) candidate Datta Gaikwad and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) candidate Hemant Godse.


After the submission of the nomination papers the campaign for Sameer Bhujbal began with the same fanfare and political exhilaration that is normally part of any election in India. Moreover he was receiving the support from every corner of the constituency and political analysts were predicting his victory even before a single vote being casted in the election. But soon much to the misery of the young aspiring Member of Parliament (MP), it all began to vanish. The atmosphere that was very favourable till now became hostile.


“The reason for this sudden turnaround is the stand his uncle Chagan Bhujbal had recently taken vis-ŕ-vis the Maratha cause”, Sudesh Kadam, a resident who has a good insight into the elections in the city says. “”Nashik has a good number of Maratha voters and any ignorance to Maratha cause can surely harm the fortunes of Sameer Bhujbal in the election.” Sameer Bhujbal is from Mali cast and his mentor Chagan Bhujbal is a regarded as a popular Other Backward Classes (OBC) leader.


Besides this is not the only issue that is creating panic among the NCP cadre in Nashik. “The fact that Sameer Bhujbal is an outsider and does not belong to the constituency is also one of the reasons why the otherwise very favourable election is becoming difficult for him with every passing day”, Manoj Pardhi, a social worker says.


However a deeper look into the political activities in Nashik reveals that the actual challenge to Sameer Bhujbal is not these issues. It is actually the internal politics of the city that is making the going tough for the young aspirant. “In Nashik, the elections are always controlled by five prominent local leaders belonging to various political parties including Congress and the NCP”, says Vicky Patil, a local political observer. “They will never allow emergence of a new political leadership in the city.”


Yet there are still few very important days left before the fate of the candidates are locked in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). Meanwhile like his opponents from Shiv Sena (SS) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Sameer Bhujbal is also trying hard to drive the voters in his favor. And if the Shiv Sena (SS) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) candidates eat into each others votes, as it is widely expected, the internal political game if at all that exists, would not work and Nashik would surely witness the emergence of a new political leadership in the city.








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Sare Jahan Se Accha

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