It’s indeed an intense paradoxical matter that the Congress, despite being well aware of the fact that granting ticket to former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, who is an accused in the infamous Aadarsh Housing scam, from Nanded constituency will result in a major embarrassment.

In spite of that, the party named Chavan in the last day of filing nominations as it had no other winnable Maratha leader to be fielded from Marathwada region.

Prior to Independence, Marathwada was a part of Hyderabad Nizam’s territory. Even today, several constituencies in the Marathwada region lie in Andhra Pradesh.

Then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi elevated Maratha leader Shankar Rao Chavan to the position of Chief Minister, ‘anointing’ him leader of Marathwada region.

After that, late Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh continued to control the state’s reins for almost two decades, holding Congress flag high in the region.

After demise of Vilasrao Deshmukh, the Congress was left with no other leader who could match his stature and under compulsion; the party had to field scam-tainted leader Ashok Chavan, a move, which was apparently opposed by a section of Sonia Gandhi-led party.

The Marathwada region comprising eight Lok Sabha seats was divided into two poles till last year. The Congress camp was led by Vilasrao Deshmukh, while Gopinath Munde was the skipper of saffron party.

It needs to be mentioned here that Marathwada has been one of the major hubs of BJP-Shiv Sena in the past one decade.

(JPN/Bureau)

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