Cha­van’s vic­tory warn­ing bell for BJP

DNA (Delhi) - - INDI - Sud­hir_s@dnain­dia.net

In 2014, the BJP came to power, promis­ing to fight cor­rup­tion. How­ever, it had to watch for­mer Con­gress chief min­is­ter Ashok Cha­van, who had to re­lin­quish his post fol­low­ing graft al­le­ga­tions in Adarsh scam, make a clean sweep in Nanded Lok Sabha con­stituency.

In 2017, Cha­van made his­tory for his party, win­ning 69 of the 81 seats in city’s mu­nic­i­pal cor­po­ra­tion.

His per­for­mance be­comes even more impressive as the BJP won other by­polls — Bhandup, Pune, Kol­ha­pur and Nag­pur — in the state quite com­fort­ably.

Cha­van at­tributes his win to BJP’s at­tempt at ma­lign­ing his im­age. “I have done good work here and peo­ple re­sponded pos­i­tively. Our mar­gin of vic­tory speaks a lot,” he said.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Sud­hir Mun­gan­ti­war said the Con­gress party suc­ceeded in po­lar­is­ing the vot­ers in Nanded. “Mus­lims did not vote for us. They voted en bloc to Con­gress. This hap­pened in Parb­hani, Bhi­wandi and Male­gaon cor­po­ra­tion elec­tions, too. We will in­tro­spect why Mus­lims are not show­ing faith in us. One must also un­der­stand that Cha­van did some de­vel­op­ment work in Nanded, but it was lim­ited to just Nanded. There­fore peo­ple re­jected them in by­polls in other places,” Mun­gan­ti­war said.

Is this win enough to change po­lit­i­cal winds in the state? Prob­a­bly not. As they say, one cuckoo does not maketh the sum­mer.

But, at the same time, the win has un­der­lined a few things. The Con­gress can fight and win if it is united and fights with spunk. In the rest of the state, Con­gress is rid­dled with fac­tion­al­ism and lacks self-be­lief. In Nanded, the party unit fought un­der Cha­van with full strength be­hind him and this helped well.

—HEMANT PADALKAR/DNA

BJP can­di­date Ja­gruti Patil cel­e­brates in Mum­bai.

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