Constituency Watch: Teli, Kunbi Communities To Decide Fate Of Ramdas Tadas & Amar Kale In Wardha

(MENAFN- IANS) Wardha, April 23 (IANS) In Maharashtra's Wardha, which gained prominence as the central place for the Indian National Movement after Mahatma Gandhi came to this place, it is a fight between a youth and an old guard in the Lok Sabha election this time.

The BJP has renominated its sitting MP Ramachandra Tadas, who is hopeful to score a hattrick, against Amar Kale, the NCP-Sharad Pawar candidate who had recently joined the party after leaving the Congress.

The Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi nominee Rajendra Salunkhe and BSP candidate Mohan Raikwar are also in the fray.

Incidentally, it is for the first time in recent years that the Congress party and its hand symbol will be missing from the Wardha constituency. Congress is a key ally in the Maha Vikas Aghadi but is engaged in activating its cadres for Kale's campaigning.

Wardha remained the Congress bastion till 1989 but later it was also represented by Communists and the BJP. Since 2014, the BJP has won this seat.

Tadas, who was elected from Wardha in the 2014 and 2019 elections, is seeking votes for continuity while Kale, who is contesting the Lok Sabha elections for the first time, is approaching the voters for a change.

Kunbi and Teli communities will have a major role in the victory of either of the two. Tadas come from the Teli community and Kale from the Kunbi community. Both these communities are politically crucial not just in Wardha but in several districts of Vidarbha and the rest of Maharashtra.

Tadas, who is the president of the wrestling association, is banking on the work he carried out in the last 10 years for the transformation of Wardha apart from riding on the 'Modi guarantee'. A well-oiled election machinery is his major strength as the party has charged its booth and Panna-level workers.

Tadas and the BJP are aggressively taking up a slew of developmental works done by the Narendra Modi government since 2014, especially for the poor, farmers, youth, women, OBCs, SCs and STs. The Rs 13,000 crore Vishwakarma Yojana is being prominently projected by Tadas in order to consolidate his position among the Teli and OBCs.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address at the campaign rally in Wardha, held last week, wooed the voters by saying those who have turned up in large numbers have come to bless him and inspire him to work harder. He also assured that the BJP-led government at the Centre after the elections will give a necessary push for Wardha's development which was neglected during the successive Congress governments.

On the other hand, Kale is carrying on his father and former minister Sharad Kale's legacy and the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA)'s network.

Interestingly, former ministers and erstwhile political rivals Anil Deshmukh (NCP-SP) and Sunil Kedar (Congress) are working hand in hand and reaching out across the Wardha constituency to mobilise support for Kale.

Kedar, who had worked as the Wardha district guardian minister during the MVA government, has been quite active in reaching out to the voters, especially from villages and hamlets. Kale is appealing to the voters to vote for him and the MVA or INDIA bloc to protect the Constitution and democracy, and also to speed up the development process in Wardha.

MVA top guns including Sharad Pawar and Uddhav Thackeray held rallies for Kale while Pawar was also present at the time of filing of nomination by Kale.

Both Tadas and Kale believe that the Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi and Mayawati-led BSP may not eat into their votes due to their small presence and network in the constituency. However, both face a huge challenge to bring voters to the polling booths during the present hot wave to avoid less voting.

However, Tadas and Kale are striving to reply to the host of problems raised by the voters during their corner meetings and house contacts.

Among the key issues included the lack of adequate employment opportunities, the absence of a major industrial unit, long pending road development and also the implementation of the Sevagram Development Plan and on top of it the delayed construction of flyovers in Wardha, Sindhi, Pulgaon and Dhamangaon.

Of the six assembly constituencies in the Wardha Lok Sabha seat, BJP represents Dhamangaon Railway, Arvi, Hinganghat and Wardha while Deoli-Pulgaon by Congress and Morshi by Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana.

During the 2019 elections, Tadas secured 5,78,364 votes against Congress nominee Charulata Tokas who got 3,91,171 votes.

In the 2014 elections, Tadas, who was the BJP's sitting MLA and party's nominee, got 5,37,518 votes defeating the Congress candidate Sagar Meghe who secured 3,21,735 votes.

In all, 16,78,354 voters will exercise their votes on April 26.



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