Nagpur is considered as the traditional throttlehold of Congress and the BJP’s decision to field Gadkari from this politically crucial seat could be a tactical move, based on two reasons – his affinity to RSS camp and the former BJP president is a known face in the region, who also enjoys a good repo for initiating a number of developmental works here.

Congress boasts of an impressive track record in Nagpur and from 1952, when the first Lok Sabha elections were held, till 2009 the party has lost in this key constituency only thrice. In 1962, Independent candidate Bapu Ji Ane made Congress bite the dust, in 1971, Forward Bloc leader Jabwantrao Dhote emerged victorious and in 1996, BJP leader Banwarilal Purohit, who defected from Congress, made did not let his former family have the last laugh.

It needs to be mentioned here that Purohit, who has been a two-time Congress MP joined hands with the saffron party after being swayed by the impact of ‘Ram Wave’.

This time around, it is for the first time in Nagpur that a leader, who is considered as one of the most formidable members of Sangh Parivar, is investing all his efforts to make the Lotus bloom in this orange city.

Ever since Gadkari lost the 1985 polls from West Nagpur Assembly constituency, he has not contested elections to Lower House and it’s mainly due to this very reason that a certain faction of BJP opposed to the former party chief views him as a ‘parachute’ leader. 

Probably, in order to get rid of this ‘outsider’ tag, Gadkari started preparing for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls five years back during the 2009 Assembly elections in Maharashtra. He was the president of Maharashtra unit of BJP then and under his stewardship, four party MLAs were elected, who are now slogging hard for him.

Things are however not looking that comfortable in the Congress camp as its candidate Vilas Muttemwar is facing internal discord and it’s mainly due to this very reason, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Anjali Damania is looking more formidable. However, being an ‘outsider’, Damania might have to face her own share of beatings as well.

In due course of time, Gadkari has emerged as a bankable leader, mainly by the dint of all the developmental works initiated by him, which has made him earn the tag of a ‘hard working’ leader.

Maybe, it’s mainly due to this fact that the charges of corruption leveled by Anjali Damania on Gadkari are not having that much of impact in Nagpur.

JPN/Bureau

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