07 Apr 2019 05:41am IST
SURAJ NANDREKAR and ASMITA POLJI
Mandrem has seen a series of developments and there was clarity only a few weeks before the by-poll elections. SURAJ NANDREKAR and ASMITA POLJI share the pulse of the locals
Initially, the electorate of Mandrem was upset with the resignation of the Dayanand Sopte, who was elected from Congress seat but as time passed things started to move on for him.
Initially there was a strong opposition for Sopte’s entry into the BJP at the cost of former chief minister and Mandrem MLA Laxmikant Parsekar but the BJP were successful in convincing them.
Less than three weeks left for the Mandrem by-poll but confusion still prevails between the voters as old and new faces are trying their best to get votes.
With Ex CM and MLA Laxmikant Parsekar decision of not contesting election has disturbed his supporters; people will witness the split in votes.
With Ex-MLA Dayanand Sopte joining BJP and filing nominations for BJP for Mandrem, voters are confused between choosing the party and supporting Sopte or teaching a lesson to Sopte by voting for someone canidate. Political opinion is divided; with one section believing that BJP supporters will vote for the party candidate no matter who the candidate is, whereas another section questions, if those who genuinely wanted Parsekar to contest in the by- poll, will still vote for BJP.
Another question that is arising in people’s mind is if they should believe the reasons, given by Sopte in changing parties - for the betterment of the constituency, and the elections will indicate how much of the Sopte has with the Mandrem electorate.
There are some who feel that the recent statements by former CM Laxmikant Parsekar, that he has accepted the party’s decision is only to be taken at face value, as the former MLA has not been seen o nthe ground supporting Sopte. This has been considered to be a negative factor for Sopte’s campaign.
However Sopte is confident of a win saying “I know former CM Parsekar is supporting me and optimistic that people of Mandrem will vote for development.”
On the other hand, Congress has given the ticket to Babi Bagkar with just three weeks time to cover the whole constituency.
But the Congress’s decision to give ticket Bagkar has ruffled many feathers as ex-Union minister Ramakant Khalap and Sachin Parab were expecting to get ticket and there were already clashes over this and this could lead to a split among the supporters.
Jit Arolkar a bigger threat
Though the people are familiar with Sopte and Bagkar, people who were disappointed with BJP and Congress, are looking at an alternative in the form of young candidate Jit Arolkar, will be contesting the Mandrem b-poll as an independent. Within a period of three months, Arolkar has managed to get support of thousands of people and is confident about his victory.
A close confidante of Dy Chief Minister Babu Ajgaonkar Jit started campaigning the day Sopte resigned from Congress sensing opportunity. But the drawback for him is that his mentor Babu cannot support him as he has joined BJP recently.
While MGP had initially announced support for Jit, that move was scuttled after Ajgaonkar dumped the regional party.
For the ‘Marathi Bhasha Premi’, a candidate from BSM has also filed his nomination for the Mandrem by-poll. This candidate for BSM Swarup Naik is also in trying to make change in political scenario in Mandrem. However questions have been raised about the possible dent given the number of votes received by the GSM during last election in Mandrem.
With the present election scenario, voters expressed that silent voting will again make a difference again just like the 2017 Assembly election, with high chances of split of votes between candidates and party.