Nagpur: Hingna assembly constituency is witnessing a straight fight between sitting BJP MLA Sameer Meghe and NCP candidate Vijay Ghodmare. Meghe has a clear edge but Ghodmare helped by the NCP and Congress workers is trying his best to offset it.
In 2014, Meghe had defeated former NCP minister Ramesh Bang by a margin of over 23,000 votes. Ghodmare is a former BJP MLA. Bang is a Marwadi while Ghodmare is a Kunbi like Meghe. This time the caste card won’t work for BJP.
Meghe is telling people that he has either done or started works worth Rs2,500 crore in the seat. Ghodmare is attacking BJP over unemployment. Many factories have closed down in Butibori and Hingna MIDCs post demonetization and roll out of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
Locals said that Meghe was ahead of Ghodmare in campaigning. For example, Ghodmare is yet to visit the suburb of Godhni while Meghe has campaigned there twice.
Talking to TOI, Meghe said that he had done a lot of development works in his constituency in the last five years. “I have started water supply schemes for Wanadongri, Butibori and Wadi municipal councils and also Lava and Surabardi villages. Works have started on the Butibori flyover, which had been proposed years ago. The Phase II of Nagpur Metro will be sanctioned soon and then Hingna, Wadi and Butibori will get direct connectivity with Nagpur. The commuting time will reduce sharply,” he said.
The MLA admitted that some factories had closed down in Butibori but new ones had started soon. “Many units have started in Mihan. Patanjali plant will soon start production. When Samruddhi Corridor gets completed, it will bring lot of investment to Nagpur and Butibori, Hingna and Mihan will benefit the most,” he said.
Both Meghe and his election in-charge Girish Deshmukh said that the victory margin would be over 40,000.
Shiv Sena corporator Harshal Kakde of Wadi Municipal Council said that Meghe would win easily. “Over 60% people are with us. There will be some damage due to anti-party activities of former Wadi Council chairman Prem Zade but it won’t impact the result,” he said.
Deshmukh too said that Zade would wean away some BJP votes in Wadi area. According to him, BSP candidate Rahul Sontakke and VBA candidate Nilesh Jangle will poll total about 10,000 votes.
Bhojraj Barapatre, close aide of Bang, alleged that Meghe was using money power in the elections. “We are focusing on unemployment. Over 50% factories in the two MIDCs have closed down due to BJP government’s policies. Will unemployed vote for Meghe just for money? The MLA and his government has failed completely on job front,” he said.
The constituency has seen massive urbanization in past 10 years. People working in the city live in Hingna, Wadi, Godhni, Wanadongri, etc because of high property rates in Nagpur. These areas lack many civic amenities. Meghe had sought some water for Wanadongri but the BJP-ruled Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) refused.