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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Exclusive Lok Sabha elections 2024 Onion issue at the heart of this battle says Rajabhau Waje

Exclusive | Lok Sabha elections 2024: Onion issue at the heart of this battle, says Rajabhau Waje

Updated on: 14 May,2024 06:53 AM IST  |  Nashik
Rajendra B. Aklekar |

SS-UBT challenger Rajabhau Waje says farmers who suffered from govt flip-flops are an angry lot

Exclusive | Lok Sabha elections 2024: Onion issue at the heart of this battle, says Rajabhau Waje

Rajabhau Waje. Pic/Ashish Raje

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Exclusive | Lok Sabha elections 2024: Onion issue at the heart of this battle, says Rajabhau Waje

Rajabhau Waje, 59, who won the candidature by defeating many veterans, is a loyal Shiv Sainik and is a former MLA of Sinnar Assembly constituency. In 2014, he was elected from Sinnar on a Shiv Sena ticket. Waje also has a great political legacy. His grandfather Shankar Balaji Waje was the first MLA of Sinnar after the formation of Maharashtra state.

His grandmother, Rukminibai Waje was elected as the first woman MLA of Sinnar Assembly constituency in 1967. His father Prakash also contested the 2009 Maharashtra Legislative Assembly election from Sinnar. Moving into the deeper interiors of Nashik, mid-day caught up with him at the Madsangavi village temple amid villagers.

Rajabhau Waje campaigning in Odha village. Pic/Ashish Raje
Rajabhau Waje campaigning in Odha village. Pic/Ashish Raje

Excerpts from the interview…

How do you look at these elections with the changed political situation?
I will only say that democracy is in danger and we need to save it. I don't have time to talk much. Should I talk to you or my people?

What are the key issues that you are pitching for?
The onion issue is at the heart and mind of the farmers here. They have been suffering due to the onion export ban and flip-flop decisions of the government. The government opened up the exports of onion in Gujarat and the farmers there benefited, but not in Maharashtra immediately, which was an injustice for farmers here. Is the PM only for Gujarat?

What besides onions?
Apart from the mess of the onion issue, the rates of soya bean and tomato have been unstable. The poor farmer is at a loss. Ask anyone here if they know the name of our agriculture minister after Sharad Pawar. That is the level of disconnect.

What about jobs and loss of business? There have been issues on that front too.
The government has changed about 29 labour laws, and businesses are shutting down. The government entered into a conspiracy to kill BSNL to promote private players. This has led to joblessness for many in our district and villages. Smaller companies also shut down and overall, the condition is very bad. The government in power is responsible for all this.

The government has been offering subsidies…
Yes. Farmers get Rs 6,000. But should the farmers be happy because of that? There is a GST on all farming products. Farmers have been suffering because of that. This government has to go.

What do you say about the changed political equations, in the state and the country overall?
Democracy is in danger, moving towards 'Hitlershahi', and if we elect the same government this time, there will be no elections after the next five years. Those in power have finished political families, political houses. Now the situation is such that there are so many political factions, parties and symbols that no one is able to understand anything. There is no thought of the people. All I will say is that we need Bharat sarkar, not Modi sarkar. 

SWOT Analysis 

Is from a politically influential family, has a good hold of farmers’ issues and has a good network among them

Though from an influential political family, has a low political standing and is a bit ill-equipped to handle issues from national perspective

Knowing the pulse of farming issues, can cash in on the rural belts of Nashik district to establish an immediate connect with farmers and farm issues

The rival political candidate Hemant Godse is a two-time sitting MP who has won over the powerful Bhujbal family in the past two elections. This time, the Bhujbal family is supporting Godse as team Mahayuti.  

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