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Lok Sabha elections 2024: Delhi proposes, Nashik disposes

Updated on: 22 April,2024 07:08 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Dharmendra Jore |

A peep into what is believed to have led Chhagan Bhujbal withdraw from the Lok Sabha race

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Delhi proposes, Nashik disposes

Chhagan Bhujbal has withdrawn his candidature over the delay in making his electoral entry official by NDA. Pic/Sameer Markande

A fortnight after affirming his candidature from Nashik, NCP minister Chhagan Bhujbal has withdrawn his name. He said it was the outcome of the delay in making his electoral entry official by the NDA, especially when the BJP’s high command Amit Shah had cleared his name for Nashik instead of Shinde Sena’s sitting MP, Hemant Godse.

It turns out that Shinde Sena has overcome the pressure that was put to relinquish the seat to NCP. It is to be seen whether Godse is repeated or is replaced as the candidate. Now more about the behind-the-scenes that made Bhujbal back out. Local reports say that it was his past actions, especially the objectionable remarks that were taken as anti-Hindu. His criticism of traditional Saraswati puja had led to protests. The feedback from Nashik’s RSS/BJP cadre, Brahmin Mahasangh, Purohit Sangh, and other Hindu organisations contributed only negative points to Bhujbal’s profile as the NDA candidate.

Factors that had favoured the Sena-BJP alliance in Kumbh City wouldn’t have worked if Bhujbal was made to contest. The favourable prospects seen from the top underwent a drastic turnaround when ground reports came in. Also, Bhujbal’s encounter with the Maratha quota activist Manoj Jarange had upset Marathas across the state. The minister was most vocal in presenting the side of OBCs while Jarange demanded that the quota be shared. Meanwhile, Sakal Maratha Samaj, the umbrella organisation for the quota stir, threatened to damage the NDA across the state if Bhujbal was fielded in Nashik.

Still, Bhujbal has some strength on his side in the form of the OBC-specific organisation-All India Mahatma Phule Samata Parishad-that has said the minister’s ‘forced’ withdrawal had resulted in unrest, which will reflect when the OBCs go out to vote.

Dharmendra Jore is political editor, mid-day. He tweets @dharmendrajore
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