CHA­VAN PRASH FOR CON­GRESS

BJP bub­ble bursts in Nanded

The Free Press Journal - - FRONT PAGE -

The Con­gress has good rea­son to be happy: Af­ter win­ning the Parb­hani mu­nic­i­pal polls, it has swept the Nanded civic body elec­tions in the Marath­wada re­gion. Given that pol­i­tics is all about sym­bol­ism, the win can give the mori­bund party a fresh lease of life.

The BJP had lined up a bat­tery of lead­ers dur­ing the cam­paign, in­clud­ing chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis who had sought votes in the name of Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi. But even that gam­bit failed, sug­gest­ing that the magic of Modi is be­gin­ning to wane.

The re­sults also sug­gest that Ashok Cha­van’s star is in the as­cen­dance and at least it will help blunt the at­tack of the lobby that is work­ing against him. With Narayan Rane out of the party, Ashok only has to fend off the likes of Prithvi­raj Cha­van and Rad­hakr­ishna Vikhe Patil.

Also, dogged by the Adrash scam, he had be­come an ‘un­touch­able’ within his own party -- the thump­ing win marks his po­lit­i­cal come­back.

The sweep­ing re­sults -- 69 out of a to­tal 81 seats -- will re­in­force

The BJP had lined up a bat­tery of lead­ers dur­ing the cam­paign, in­clud­ing chief min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis

Cha­van’s stature in the party and the prospect of his re­tain­ing the post of pres­i­dent for the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive term. This is also a vin­di­ca­tion of the faith re­posed in him by Rahul Gandhi, the vice pres­i­dent of Con­gress party.

In fact, in the pres­tige con­test, Rahul too had ad­dressed ral­lies last month. “Gandhi was also sur­prised with the re­sults in Parb­hani,” Bhag­wan­rao Wagh­mare, leader of the House of Con­gress in Parb­hani Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion, said.

“The clean sweep also in­di­cates peo­ple are get­ting fed up of the false prom­ises made by Modi and Fad­navis. The is­sue of rise in petrol and diesel prices, the in­crease in the num­ber of farmer sui­cides and the mess in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the loan waiver scheme are the ma­jor rea­sons why the peo­ple re­jected the BJP,” said Cha­van. Marath­wada had been a bas­tion of the Con­gress; how­ever, dur­ing the Modi wave in 2014, the Con­gress could win only two seats in the gen­eral elec­tion -- Nanded and Hin­goli from where Cha­van and Ra­jeev Satav had con­tested. Cha­van said Nanded will be the be­gin­ning of BJP’s de­ba­cle.

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