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BJP nominates Pankaja Munde, 4 others for state council polls to woo back OBCs, Dalits, Marathas

BJP nominates Pankaja Munde, 4 others for state council polls to woo back OBCs, Dalits, Marathas

Mumbai, July 1 (SocialNews.XYZ) BJP for the biennial election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council slated for July 12 has nominated former minister Pankaja Munde, who lost the Lok Sabha elections from Beed, former minister of state Parihar Fuke, former minister of state Sadabhau Khot, former legislator Yogesh Tilekar and party functionary Amit Gorkhe.

The BJP, in the wake of its dismal performance in the General Elections, has made a serious attempt to strike a balance by giving representation to Marathas, OBCs and the Dalit community ahead of the forthcoming Assembly elections likely in September-October.


The biennial election is slated for July 12 for 11 seats. These five leaders will file their nominations on July 2 which is the last date for it.

The BJP’s decision to rehabilitate Munde, who hails from the Vanjari community, is to lure back the OBC community, especially in the wake of ongoing protests over Maratha and OBC reservations.

Munde, who was the Cabinet minister for women and child welfare in the Devendra Fadnavis-led government in 2014 and 2019, is likely to be inducted into the state Cabinet in the run-up to the Assembly poll.

Munde lost to NCP(SP) nominee Bajrang Sonawane from Beed constituency amid a widening rift between the Maratha and OBC communities and increasing caste divide which played a crucial role in the just-concluded General Elections.

Munde’s rehabilitation has also sent a signal to the BJP’s ally, the Ajit Pawar-led NCP that it would not interfere in the Parli constituency which is represented by the party’s Dhananjay Munde in the state Assembly.

Incidentally, Dhananjay Munde had defeated Pankaja Munde in the Parli constituency in the state Assembly elections in 2019. Both are cousins and now together in the Mahayuti.

Fuke, who is a former minister and a close confidant of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, comes from the Kunbi community. His nomination is to regain the party's hold and consolidate its position in the politically-important Kunbi community from Vidarbha region where the party suffered badly in the Lok Sabha elections.

Of the 10 seats, the Mahayuti won only three seats as the other seven seats were bagged by the Maha Vikas Aghadi.

Tilekar, who is the former legislator from Pune District, comes from the Mali community. His nomination is also aimed to reach out to the Mali and other OBC community members.

Gorkhe, who hails from the Dalit community, is the state BJP Secretary.

Moreover, Khot, who was minister of state in the Fadnavis-led government, comes from the Maratha community from Sangli District. His nomination is to lure not just the Marathas but also the farming community which is in distress due to internal and external factors.

Considering the present strength of 103 legislators from the state Assembly, the BJP has fielded five nominees, while Shiv Sena can nominate two nominees based on its 37 legislators, NCP two nominees with its 39 legislators. The Congress can contest one seat with its 37 legislators while Maha Vikas Aghadi together can field one nominee based on Congress party’s excess votes and also with the support of 16 legislators of Shiv Sena (UBT) and NCP(SP’s) 13 legislators.

Meanwhile, the NCP has nominated party General Secretary Shivajirao Garje and party functionary Rajesh Vitekar. Garje hails from Vanjari community while Vitekar is Maratha. Both were given commitment by the party’s National President Ajit Pawar.

Garje and Vitekar will file nominations on Tuesday.

Garje is a former government officer and he has been associated with the NCP since it was formed in 1999.

After Ajit Pawar deserted his uncle and NCP founder Sharad Pawar in July 2023, Garje sided with the former.

In the case of Vitekar, his nomination is aimed at his rehabilitation.

Vitekar was to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Parbhani District but he could not do so after the NCP left the seat to ally Rashtriya Samaj Paksha founder Mahadev Jankar. Vitekar’s nomination is also to woo the Maratha community from Marathwada.

Source: IANS

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BJP nominates Pankaja Munde, 4 others for state council polls to woo back OBCs, Dalits, Marathas

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