SATARA: By-election to the Satara Lok Sabha constituency on Monday will be a test for both the BJP and NCP .
The by-election was necessitated by Udayanraje Bhosale 's decision to quit the NCP and join BJP.
While the BJP is eyeing Satara as its gateway to western Maharashtra , the NCP is trying to retain its bastion amid largescale defection.
While BJP is banking on the party's increased strength and Bhosale's popularity in the region, NCP has only party chief Sharad Pawar's charisma to bank on.
NCP candidate, Shriniwas Patil, is a long-time friend of Pawar with impressive oratory skills.
Bhosale had won the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections despite the Narendra Modi wave. NCP leaders admitted in private that Bhosale's personal charisma was a decisive factor in the two elections, when the party's performance in Maharashtra was disappointing. BJP has made some inroads in Satara district , but was not able to convert it into electoral gains. The BJP leadership now hopes to change the situation.