Pimpri: With the poll campaign gathering pace in the Bhosari assembly constituency for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly polls, all eyes are on the main contestants viz. sitting MLA and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Mahesh Landge and independent candidate and former MLA Vilas Lande.
The fight is getting interesting, as there is a curiosity whether the wrestler-turned politician Landge will be able to break the jinx associated with the constituency i.e. it has always voted in favour of an independent candidate regardless of how strong the candidates of other political parties were.
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which ostensibly could not find a formidable candidate to challenge Landge, has extended its support to Lande.
In 2009 elections, NCP had fielded Pimpri Chinchwad’s former mayor Mangala Kadam from Bhosari seat. At that time, Lande had rebelled against the NCP and contested as an independent.
In a fiercely contested battle, Lande had emerged victorious, defeating Sulabha Ubale of the Shiv Sena-BJP combine with a very narrow margin.
In 2014 elections, Lande was the NCP’s official nominee in Bhosari seat while Shiv Sena candidate was Sulabha Ubale, BJP candidate was Eknath Pawar and Congress was represented by Hanumant Bhosale.
In the keenly fought five-cornered battle, independent Mahesh Landge had then comfortably won the seat.
Unlike 2014, when all four political parties had contested independently, this time there are no contestants of the Shiv Sena, NCP or Congress in Bhosari constituency. There is a straight fight between BJP’s Landge and NCP-sponsored independent Lande, thus assuring a keen contest between the two.