Maha Vikas Aghadi candidate and sitting MLC Satish Chavan definitely started as a favourite when the ball was set rolling for the campaigning of the legislative council elections from the Marathwada graduates constituency. However, it was expected that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Shirish Boralkar will offer a tough fight. In the end, it transpired that he was not in the race at all. In 2014, Boralkar (53,467 votes) lost by a narrow margin of 15,298 to Chavan (68,765 votes). The mighty MVA decimated the BJP by a huge margin of 57,895 votes this time around. The strong MVA candidate, the united power of Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress and dissatisfaction over the candidate in the BJP were the factors that had bearing on the outcome.
Chavan’s strong network
Chavan, who has emerged winner for the third consecutive time from this constituency, is also the general secretary of the Marathwada Shikshan Prasarak Mandal which has a large network of educational institutions in Marathwada. He has a well-established and tested machinery that has successfully fought the last two polls. He could begin preparation for polls early as there was no contender to him from within the party for the candidature. Registration of voters is an important aspect of this election and Chavan scored over Boralkar in this aspect. The formation of the MVA also enabled solid social engineering and favourable electoral arithmetic for him with voters base of Sena also falling in his kitty.
Discontent in BJP
In BJP, Boralkar bagged the candidature pipping other contenders like senior Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad leader Pravin Ghuge and Ramesh Pokale. This selection of the party did not go down well with many, including former minister Pankaja Munde. This discontent never went away though Ghuge withdrew his nomination. Ramesh Pokale rebelled and veteran Jaisinghrao Gaikwad even quit the party. Boralkar could not muster the support of the BJP rank and file and also lagged in registration of voters. The caste factor too seemed to have gone against Boralkar, a Brahmin.
BJP can’t blame rebellion, mandate clearly for MVA
The BJP cannot blame the rebellion for its dismal show as votes polled by party rebel Ramesh Pokale (6712), other major candidates Prahar Sanghatana’s Sachin Dhavle (11,702), Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’s Nagorao Panchal (8993), MIM’s Kunal Kharat (1454) and Parli’s Siddheshwar Munde (8053) put together are less than the lead secured by Chavan. It was for the first time that MVA partners fought the polls together. This formidable combination has won 4 out of 6 legislative council seats that went to the poll in Maharashtra. The MVA constituents have already indicated that they would repeat this pattern in the future elections including the forthcoming Aurangabad Municipal Corporation polls. The BJP needs to quickly find out a formula to outnumber its three united opponents in polls.
The author of the this article is Yogesh Gole