Several top leaders across party lines who had made the elections to local bodies a prestige issue have failed to retain their political hold in their home turf. Among them is Minister for Rural Development and Women and Child Development Pankaja Munde who could not ensure a win for her party BJP in Parli Vaijanath in district Beed in Marathwada, where her estranged cousin Dhananjay Munde’s efforts won the day for his party.
The cousins have often locked horns in a turf battle for political upmanship since 2014 assembly elections.
According to Dhananjay, the success of NCP in Parli was due to his work in the region. Taking a jibe at Pankaja, he said, “The result shows people support those who work at the ground. The battles are not fought at Bhagwangad which is a place for worship.”
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A couple of months ago, Pankaja had held a Dusshera rally at the foothills of Bhagwangad after being denied permission to address a rally from the hill top. It had led to a controversy.
Sources in the BJP said, “The loss in Parli is due to Pankaja’s outspokeness and highhandedness.” Her public statement that four ministers are there in the cabinet because of her was perceived as arrogance in her home town.
State BJP president Raosaheb Danve could not help his party win the local polls in his home turf Bokardan. Minister for Water and Sanitation Babanrao Lonikar failed to lead his party to a win in Partur polls in Ahmednagar district.
The list of senior politicians who failed to get their party a victory includes former chief minister Narayan Rane at Malwan in Sindhudurg district. He blamed the Maharashtra Congress leadership for not giving a tough fight to the BJP and Sena in the state.
Former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan who campaigned hard managed to get a lead for Congress in Karad but failed to get the municipal council president elected in Karad. He blamed the MIM for playing spoilsport. Opposition leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil’s efforts also failed in Ahmednagar where his party lost.
Former finance and home minister from the NCP, Jayant Patil, also could not ensure a victory for his party in his home turf Islampur in Sangli district. Congress (MP) Rajiv Satav, likewise, failed in Kalamnuri in Hingoli district.
Deepak Kesarkar’s efforts in Sawantwadi in Sindhudurg failed, with his party Shiv Sena getting a drubbing in the local body elections.