Sakoli: Sakoli assembly constituency in Bhandara district is witnessing a straight fight between Parinay Fuke of BJP and Nana Patole of Congress.
Fuke is a minister of state in the outgoing government. Fate of the two candidates will depend on whom the Teli community votes for and how many votes Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’s Sevak Waghaye polls.
Both candidates are facing handicaps. Former Congress MLA Sevak Waghaye had tried hard for a party ticket. However, when he was denied it by Mukul Wasnik, Congress in-charge for Vidarbha, he joined Prakash Ambedkar’s VBA and is in the fray. He is expected to wean away Kunbi and Dalit votes of Patole. Waghaye will damage Patole especially in Lakhni area where he lives.
BSP candidate Prakash Malgave was former Bhandara district president of BJP. He belongs to Dhiwar community, which traditionally votes for the Congress. He will also dent chances of Patole.
Fuke has his share of problems. He persuaded independent Teli candidate Bramhanand Karanjikar to withdraw. Large number of Telis had accompanied Karanjikar during filing of nominations. They were highly upset with Karanjikar and Fuke when the former withdrew. Telis, who are traditionally BJP voters, are also angry with the party over denial of ticket to energy minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule and Tumsar MLA Charan Waghmare. Posts are doing rounds on WhatsApp urging Telis to teach a lesson to the BJP.
Moreover, many BJP workers are unhappy over Fuke’s candidature. The MoS hails from Nagpur and locals feels that he has been imposed on them. The sitting BJP MLA Rajesh Kashiwar is, however, working for him.
Fuke is a Tirale Kunbi while Patole is a Zade Kunbi and Waghaye is a Bawane Kunbi. Zade Kunbis are the dominant community in Sakoli and they are likely to vote for Patole.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public meeting in Sakoli on October 13 had attracted a mammoth crowd. This, according to political experts, will work in favour of Fuke.
VBA candidate Waghaye said that his main rival was Fuke and Patole was nowhere in picture. “Patole has changed parties several times. He went to Nagpur to contest Lok Sabha election and has come back after losing. People will not vote for him,” he added. Waghaye further said that he would defeat Fuke easily but Modi’s meeting will reduce his margin. On his poll agenda, the ex-MLA said that his priority was to make Sakoli a district.
Fuke said that his main rival was Waghaye. On Telis being upset with him, Fuke said that Teli community leaders were campaigning for him. The MoS said that if he became a minister in next government, he would start Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (Bhel) plant in Sakoli. The plant was put in cold storage by the BJP-led central government. It was sanctioned during UPA-II regime.
Patole said his fight is with PM Modi and not local candidates. “This is the reason why Modi had come to Sakoli,” he added. The ex-MP said that he had prepared a masterplan for making Sakoli a model constituency.
2014 winner – Rajesh Kashiwar (BJP)
Runner-up – Sevak Waghaye (Congress)
Polling percentage – 74.21%
No of voters in 2019 — 3.20 lakh
Key contestants — Parinay Fuke (BJP), Nana Patole (Cong), Sevak Waghaye (VBA)
1) Bhel plant in limbo for five years
2) Wild animals damage crops
3) Roads connecting villages in interior in bad shape
4) Paddy needs good MSP this year
5) Most mama talaos not repaired