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Multi Cornered contest on cards in Nashik

Tuesday, April 14, 2009, Santosh Sonawane


Nashikites have always gone for a change, never elected a candidate twice and punished those who take them for a ride. Who holds the chance now?





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Nashik: As the nation goes for the 15th parliamentary elections, Nashik is one constituency that cannot be overlooked. The so-called fortress of Shiv Sena, which at times has upheld the Sena candidates, has at times turned them down and given opportunities to Congress, BJP and Nationalist Congress Party(NCP). The voters here have continuously shifted their loyalties in a bid to see some change for good and punish those who have taken them for granted. No wonder to woo these unpredictable voters there have been prominent political leaders like late prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajive Gandhi, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former chief minister Vasant Naik, Nargis Dutt, Balasaheb Thackeray, LK Advani, Pramod Mahajan and many others who have been to Nashik.


The importance that the Nashik Lok Sabha constituency has held in the past has not changed till date. Instead it has risen many folds and more than the victory or defeat in the elections, here the fight is of saving the face.


After the unopposed election of Yeshwantrao Chavan in 1963, Nashik voters did not give any candidate a second opportunity to represent them, which aptly conveyed that here the people are for a change always. After Yeshwantrao Chavan’s election from Nashik, who went on to become the defence minister of the country, no MP managed to represent Nashik at the Center as strong as he did.


However, this time around, the situation is apparently a bit different and little interesting. In 1999 after Sharad Pawar defected from Congress, it was a cakewalk for the Saffron alliance with Uttam Dhikle emerging victorious. However in 2004 with NCP and Congress fighting the elections together, the Saffron alliance lost by a margin of just a few thousand votes. Now apparently when a stiff fight was on the cards between the two powerful alliances, Raj Thackeray led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) is likely to play a spoilsport or even romp home victorious with the party getting a strong support throughout the constituency.


By the last day of filing the nomination papers as many as 21 candidates had filed the nomination papers. However the main fight according to the voters would be between the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) candidate Sameer Bhujbal, Shiv Sena candidate Datta Gaikwad and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) candidate Hemant Godse.


Datta Gaikwad, a very senior Shiv Sena member has played a major role in spreading Shiv Sena in Nashik district. He also holds the post of the district chief of the party. With Shiv Sena joining hands with the BJP, chances of Gaikwad’s elections are fair enough. In the last parliamentary election, Shiv Sena-BJP candidate Dashrath Patil who later joined Congress lost the election by just a few thousand votes.


Meanwhile the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) who has fielded Hemant Godse, a Zila Parishad member, has also gained a significant presence across Nashik. Reciprocating to the support Nashikites have given him since his exit from Shiv Sena, Raj Thackeray has always made important announcements about his party from here. He also chose Nashik to unveil his party’s first list of the candidates for the Lok Sabha elections.


Apart from these two strong candidates, NCP’s Sameer Bhujbal, nephew of Deputy Chief Minister Chagan Bhujbal is also coming up as a strong contender for the Nashik parliamentary seat. In its very first election in 1999, NCP had secured over a lakh votes than the Congress, though Shiv Sena’s Uttam Dhikle went on to win that election. This showed Nashikites were more for Pawar than the Congress. In the subsequent election, two parties joined hands and the saffron alliance had to taste the defeat.


This time around, NCP members who were requesting either Sharad Pawar or Bhujbal to contest the election from Nashik, wholeheartedly welcomed Sameer Bhujbal’s candidature. Chhagan Bhujbal has played a major role in expediting the four laning of the Mumbai Agra Highway up to Dhule. At the same time his efforts in starting the air service from Nashik are also known to all. The development the guardian minister has done in his Yeola constituency is another highlight that is being featured. With all such things, many feel that Sameer will well carry forward the developmental works in Nashik with the same zest as his uncle Chhagan Bhujbal has.


However what the voters seal in the electronic voting machine (EVM), will be out only after April 23. (Courtesy: Nasik Times)







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Sare Jahan Se Accha

Hindustan Hamara

In 1905 more than 100 years from today, when Iqbal was a lecturer at the Government College, Lahore he was invited by his student Lala Hardayal to preside over a function. Instead of making a speech, Iqbal sang Sare Jahan Se Accha Hindustan Hamara in his style. Iqbal compiled this poem in praise of India and the poem preaches the communal harmony that had unfortunately started ceasing in India by that time. Each and every word in this poem depicts an Indian’s respect and love for the motherland and the values the Indian society inherited for long...Read Full




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