The Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A B Bardhan was rather unfortunate who could not make it to the Parliament in his long cherished political career.
Bardhan who hails from Nagpur today occupies the top position in the Left party,but is probably the only stalwart who could not make it to Parliament.
Bardhan had during his five decade old political career,only once became an MLA way back in 1957 from Nagpur as an independent candidate. He had polled 26,666 when Nagpur had three Assembly seats in Maharashtra.
Bardhan tried his luck twice to enter Lok Sabha from Nagpur but failed on both occasions in 1967 and 1980.
In his first attempt in 1967,when Vidarbha was already under Congress rule,he lost to Narendra Deoghare among seven candidates in the fray. Deoghare secured 1,36,134 votes while Bardhan could get 1,02,286 when a total of 3,71,951 votes were polled.
Bardhan did not give up and again fought the 1980 election. This election was a major boost for Congress when it swept the entire Vidarbha region,winning all the 11 LS seats.
Jambuwantrao Dhote who was riding high on pro-Vidarbha movement got 2,46,397 votes to defeat Shyam Khobragade of RPI (Khobragade). Khobragde got 1,19,954 votes. Bardhan finished third with 70,689 votes among 23 candidates. But barring Bardhan,the other Leftists who represented Vidarbha in Lok Sabha include Ramchandra Ghangare (Wardha) and Sudam Deshmukh (Amravati).
Ghangare was a fighter in the election going by the statistics. He lost three consecutive Lok Sabha elections from Wardha constituency in 1977 to Santosh Gode of Congress,in 1980 and 1989 to Vasant Sathe of Congress but won the 1991 election surprisingly.
Ghangare polled 89,949 votes against Jambuwantrao Dhote (Ind) 1,02,788 to finish third. The winner Gode got 2,19,442.
In 1980,Sathe (2,96,794) trounced Ghangare (1,19,465) and in the following election (1989),he secured 1,96,216 votes while Sathe,mustered 2,22,046 votes.
But his patience paid a handsome prize. Ghangare won the Wardha seat defeating his traditional rival Sathe. In a battle of 19 candidates,Ghangare polled 1,82,436 while Sathe a former Union Minister could get 1,58,906.
Deshmukh was a veteran Communist leader from Amravati in western Vidarbha. He successfully contested the 1989 general election from Amravati constituency defeating two time Member of Parliament and first woman Congress nominee,Ushatai Choudhary in 1989.
Deshmukh,however could not retain his seat in 1991 election when lost to Pratibhatai Patil (1,77,265 votes). He polled 92,048 to finish third after Prakash Bharsakade of Shiv Sena who got 1,21,784 votes.