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Lok Sabha elections 2024: A royal headstart

Updated on: 06 May,2024 06:53 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Ranjeet Jadhav |

So confident was Shahu Chhatrapati about getting the Kolhapur ticket from the MVA that he started campaigning two months ago; will it help in beating the Mahayuti in key seat?

Lok Sabha elections 2024: A royal headstart

Congress candidate for Kolhapur Lok Sabha constituency, Shahu Maharaj meets villagers. Pic/Anurag Ahire

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Lok Sabha elections 2024: A royal headstart

As the Kolhapur Lok Sabha constituency elections become a talking point across the state, the fight will be tough, but Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj—the descendent of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj—has an edge over his opponents Shiv Sena Eknath Shinde faction/Mahayuti candidate and sitting MP Sanjay Mandlik. Kolhapur is important for both the NDA and Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) and so the constituency is seeing visits from top leaders from both sides. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already addressed a huge rally in Kolhapur followed by another mega rally by MVA.

Mandalik is also seen moving around constituency, interacting with people. On the other hand, Shahu Chhatrapati, Congress-MVA candidate, is ensuring that he meets as many people as he can. The people who are a part of Shahu Chhatrapati’s campaigning told mid-day that he was confident of getting the ticket and so he started visiting villages and wadis two months ago, and this will be an advantage to him.

Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj meets children. Pic/Anurag Ahire
Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj meets children. Pic/Anurag Ahire

There are six assembly constituencies which include Radhanagri, Kolhapur North, Kagal, Karvir, Chandgad and Kolhapur South, of which Kolhapur North, Kolhapur South and Karvir are with Congress, Chandgad and Kagal are with NCP and Radhanagri is with Shiv Sena. Congress leader and former minister Satej Bunty Patil who is also an influential leader from the district is extensively campaigning for Shahu Chhatrapati. Patil’s nephew, Ruturaj Patil who represents the Kolhapur South constituency, is also taking part in the campaigning.

On the other hand, the present BJP Rajya Sabha MP Dhanjay Mahadik, who had contested on an NCP ticket in 2019 and was defeated by the current sitting MP, was now seen campaigning for Mandalik. NCP Ajit Pawar faction leader and MLA from Kagal, Hasan Mushrif was also seen campaigning for Mandalik. A Congress party worker said, “Satej Bunty Patll-saheb has supporters in every district of Kolhapur Lok Sabha constituency and he has been visiting every possible village. He has prepared a proper strategy and plan, which is going to help Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj win.”

Congress MLA and former minister Satej Bunty Patil, who comes from an influential family, has a huge support base and this might help Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj. Tushar Patil, a villager from Radhanagari constituency, said, “Our MLA is of Shiv Sena Shinde faction, but we are going to support Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj because their family has done a lot for the people in this district.”

The areas of Kagal support NCP leader Mushrif and this can give some strength to BJP candidate Mandalik, but again, the discussions on ground are of voters who respect Shahu Chhatrapati and they might vote in favour of the Congress.

NDA’s effort
£Kolhapur Lok Sabha constituency is also important for Eknath Shinde as his faction MP is contesting from this seat. He has also been visiting the constituency
£Home Minister Amit Shah has also visited Kolhapur and has taken part in the campaigning

2019 Lok Sabha elections
Shiv Sena candidate Sanjay Mandlik secured 7,49,085 votes and won with a lead of 2,70,568 votes against NCP candidate Dhananjay Mahadik who secured 4,78,517 votes.
Dr Aruna Mohan Mali of the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi secured 63,439 votes and was in third position.

2014 Lok Sabha elections
NCP candidate Dhananjay Mahadik secured 6,07,665 votes and won with a lead of 33,259 votes against Shiv Sena candidate Sanjay Mandalik who secured 5,74,406 votes.
Sampatrao Pawar Patil of the Peasants and Workers Party of India secured 13,162 votes and was in third position.

31.42 L
Total voters in Kolhapur LS constituency

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