Mumbai: As the tussle between Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress over Ahmednagar seat still continues, Sanjeev Bhor, coordinator of Maratha Morcha, has decided to contest from the seat. Bhor is contesting with a single line agenda and that is the Atrocity Act, which may make a huge difference in the equations of NCP and Congress and other Maratha leaders.
Though the Congress and NCP decided to contest the election jointly, it is yet to decide over the Ahmednagar seat. Sujay Vikhe Patil, son of Leader of the Opposition in the State assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, is keen on contesting the Lok Sabha election from Ahmednagar. The constituency has been a traditional stronghold of the Vikhe Patil family. The Vikhe Patil family has established a network of cooperatives and educational institutes in Pravaranagar and the region over the last three generations. His grandfather, Balasaheb Vikhe Patil, had represented the Ahmednagar Lok Sabha constituency for eight terms.
Sanjeev Bhor is the founder of Shiv Prahar Sanghtana and is the State convenor of Maratha Morcha. All the morchas were started under Bhor’s observation and control. One of the main demands of the Maratha Morcha was abolishing the Atrocity Act.
Now, Bhor is taking the same demand as his agenda for the elections. During the Morcha, youths from the Maratha community had connected with Bhor from across the State, which will be helpful for him during the elections.
His agenda against Atrocity Act may hurt the scheduled caste, but it may appeal to the Maratha and OBC class too. Bhor’s Maratha agenda may hamper the Congress and NCP, as both parties have mainly Maratha supporters.
Bhor has already started his village to village campaign. He distributed campaign posters in his constituency and asked people to support him by giving a missed call. Bhor’s Maratha agenda may give a tough time for the Congress and NCP in the days ahead.
A traditional bastion of the Congress, this Lok Sabha constituency was breached by the Shiv Sena for the first time in 1998 with the late Balasaheb Vikhe Patil winning the seat. It was Balasaheb’s father, Vitthal-Rao Vikhe Patil, who pioneered the cooperative movement.
In 1999, the constituency went to the BJP and Dilip Gandhi for the first time, with Shiv Sena support. However, Gandhi’s equations have soured with the Sena, which has been demanding this seat.
Ahmednagar seats have been a bone of contention between the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress, which have decided to form an alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. The NCP has been contesting the Ahmednagar Lok Sabha seat since 1999.