Dindori Lok Sabha Election 2024: Sharad Pawar’s NCP Will Face a Harsh Battle in Its Bastion Against the BJP

Dindori, situated in the Nashik district of Maharashtra, is one of the state’s 48 Lok Sabha seats. These six Vidhan Sabha segments now make up the Dindori Lok Sabha seat, which is reserved for Scheduled Tribes: Nandgaon (Shiv Sena), Kalwan (NCP), Chandwad (BJP), Yevla (NCP), Niphad (NCP), and Dindori (NCP). On May 20, voting for the Dindori Lok Sabha seat will take place in the General Elections’ fifth round. June 4 is when the votes will be tallied.

Dr. Bharati Pawar of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is the current Member of Parliament for Dindori. She was elected with 49.88 percent of the vote in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Dr. Bharati Pawar of the BJP and Bhaskar Bhagare of the NCP (Sharad Pawar) are the front-runners in the Dindori Lok Sabha Elections of 2024.

BJP Is Up Against It

The BJP is up against its most formidable opponent to date in Dindori, a seat it has controlled since the constituency was established in 2008. Dr. Bharati Pawar, a Dindori native, was the party’s nominee in 2019 and won by a margin of 1.99 lakh votes. Pawar is running for office in this seat once again, and the BJP is hoping she can win it handily. But since 2019, a lot has changed in this place.

First off, the groups supported by Ajit Pawar and Eknath Shinde have joined forces with the BJP, which was previously in an alliance with a unified Shiv Sena in 2019. Considering the serious internal strife the Mahayuti coalition is experiencing, this does not necessarily imply that the BJP’s position has improved in this situation.

The largest threat to the BJP came when its former MP, Harishchandra Chavan, announced that he would run as an independent and represent Dindori in the Lok Sabha from 2009 to 2014. Following protracted back-and-forth on the side of the BJP, Chavan abandoned his plans to run as an independent. The BJP was relieved to have averted a split in its votes, but rumors of more dissatisfaction inside the NDA coalition quickly followed.

Suhas Kande, a member of parliament for the Shiv Sena, accused senior minister Chhagan Bhujbal of supporting Nationalist Congress Party (Sharad Pawar) in Dindori. However, Bhujbal refuted the accusations and said that he was assisting in the Mahayuti candidate’s win. These two figures have a long history of rivalry, which intensified when Bhujbal was named guardian minister of Nashik by the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi administration. The BJP might be in serious danger if these claims are true and certain Mahayuti coalition officials are really coming to campaign for Sharad Pawar’s candidacy.

The BJP now needs to worry about Narhari Zirwal, an NCP (Ajit Pawar) MLA and deputy speaker of the Maharashtra legislative assembly, in addition to the conflict between Suhas Kande and Chhagan Bhujbal. Zirwal has vanished from sight and is still uncommunicated as of the report’s submission. Following the viral social media photo of him endorsing the candidate of the Sharad Pawar group, he vanished from sight. This gave further weight to claims that several NDA leaders are actively supporting the opposition candidate in Dindori via campaigning.

The fact that Dr. Bharati Pawar is a well-known leader in the area is to her favor. But with the public’s significant disillusionment with the BJP, she has found the going difficult this election. The primary concern of the electorate is farmer hardship, which they are not hesitant to attribute on the BJP and the Modi administration. India’s onion capital is Dindori. Nonetheless, the region’s onion growers have been severely impacted by the Center’s decision to outlaw the export of onions. The prohibition caused a sharp decline in wholesale prices, forcing farmers to sell their crops at a loss. Despite the fact that the Center relaxed the export prohibition on May 4—possibly with the election in mind—farmers don’t seem to be willing to forget the experiences of the previous several months.

As it stands, the BJP seems to be behind, at least prior to PM Modi’s campaign here.

Maha Vikas Aghadi’s benefit

The NCP group led by Sharad Pawar has been granted the Dindori seat to run from inside the Maha Vikas Aghadi. Pawar senior has selected teacher and quasi-political rookie Bhaskar Bhagare to challenge the BJP here. It is stated that Bhaskar Bhagare has a significant advantage in Dindori, even though he has no notable political experience.

This indicates Maha Vikas Aghadi’s and Sharad Pawar’s influence in the constituency more than Bhagare’s own qualifications. It’s interesting to note that under Dindori LS, the NCP had won four of the six segments in the last assembly election. Sharad Pawar’s influence in the constituency was a major factor in all of these wins.

Here, there is a tide of support for the Maha Vikas Aghadi, particularly from the NCP (Sharad Pawar) and Shiv Sena (UBT). This is due to the widespread perception among voters that the BJP deliberately staged the NCP and Shiv Sena split, with leaders like Ajit Pawar and Eknath Shinde participating.

Because all of the NCP MLAs are now in the Ajit Pawar camp, voters claim that the Mahayuti parties have betrayed their mandate, despite the fact that they supported the NCP purely on the basis of Sharad Pawar’s reputation. Nevertheless, a few of these MLAs, such as Narhari Zirwal, have been actively supporting Sharad Pawar’s candidacy, which has stoked rumors that the outcome of the election may lead to a reverse exodus from the Ajit Pawar side.

It has been reported that several Mahayuti leaders are endorsing the NCP candidate in order to avoid upsetting their own fan base by being identified as saffron party activists.

The bulk of voters in this area, who are farmers, seem dissatisfied with the BJP. This is due to the fact that the agricultural community in Dindori has suffered significant losses over the last several months as a result of the Modi government’s decision to prohibit onion exports. The farmers are angry at the losses they have experienced and the government’s ongoing disregard for their requests. The battle for onions is likely to be the most memorable aspect of the Dindori election in many respects.

The Maha Vikas Aghadi also had a serious scare in Dindori lately when seven-time MLA from Surgana and Kalvan, senior farmer and tribal leader Jiva Pandu Gavit of CPI (M), submitted his candidacy as an independent. The possibility of a powerful and important tribal leader dividing the pro-NCP vote in Dindori had the BJP inwardly rejoicing. However, Jiva Gavit withdrew his nomination after discussions with Sharad Pawar. Gavit has now lent his support to the MVA. Gavit is a powerful figure in the tribal regions of Thane, Palghar, and Nashik.

ESSENTIAL Issue: Onion Export

The export prohibition on onions has undoubtedly grown to be a significant problem in Dindori and Nashik’s onion belt. Many farmers believe that the prohibition went against their best interests and that the Center reversed it as a political ploy to win support ahead of the May 20 elections in their areas. When the embargo was implemented to control onion prices, thousands of farmers who relied on growing onions suffered. Farmers had financial difficulties as a result of a significant decline in prices. Individual farmers saw losses of between Rs 30 and Rs 50 lakh, which forced them into a spiraling debt trap.

Water Emergency

There has been a severe water issue in Nashik. Tankers are now more often seen, and the dams have been noticeably lower. The district’s dams hold just 39% of the water that they once did, so locals are concerned about running out of drinking water, particularly as the warmer months draw near. Since both people and animals are losing access to water, the situation has an effect on both groups of people. Dams were operating at 60% capacity at this time last year, so the decline is alarming. To stop the issue from becoming worse, something has to be done.

Farmer Concerns

Farmers face financial losses due to unseasonal rains and hailstorms that occur often. Farmers are also worried that, despite the government’s many welfare initiatives, their implementation has been, at best, appalling, meaning that they merely seem good on paper. The farmers are under additional strain as a result of the 22% price increase on fertilizers, which are also in low supply. Climate change has also resulted in crop losses and declining pricing, which has reduced the payment for the product that is available. Ten thousand farmers and adivasis marched against the injustices they encountered on March 15 of last year. Farmers are exposed to financial instability since they are unable to sell their food for a significant profit due to greater production costs, reduced selling prices, and a high export tariff.

Jobs and Migration

The area lacks significant industry. The only industry that offers jobs is agriculture, but young people are reluctant to enter the field because of its many problems. Another problem is the large-scale movement of people from Dindori to Surat, Nashik, or Mumbai in quest of better job prospects. The majority of homes in the area are impacted by migration, and residents have called for the establishment of significant industries to advance the region’s economic growth.

Tensions Within Communities

In Dindori, interpersonal conflicts are not unheard of. But the conflicts are very different in kind. Tensions often flare up in Dindori between the Muslims and Qadianis. Some claim that the Qadianis are attempting to maintain control and often exploit issues pertaining to women and girls as a springboard for hostilities. The neighborhood is on edge because of certain alarming situations that have resulted from this. The public has been pleading with the government to intervene and deal with the fundamental causes of these conflicts. One of the most recent instances occurred in January of this year, when police intervened and detained 38 of the people engaged in the altercation. Approximately 10 people were hurt in the violence; several of them were women.

Absence of Progress

There is not enough infrastructure to fulfill the demands of the populace and there is little infrastructure development. Expanded regions and suburbs don’t have enough infrastructure. Among other things, there aren’t any paved roads, sewage drainage, power, a clean and sufficient supply of water, health facilities, or affordable public restrooms. In many areas of the constituency, the infrastructure for healthcare and education is still inadequate or nonexistent. To get quality medical care, people have had to go to Nashik.

Maratha Fury

Dindori is not in the Marathwada area, but the town has nevertheless seen unrest and dissatisfaction at the government’s hold-up. 38 villages in the talukas of Nashik, Niphad, Dindori, Nandgaon, Igatpuri, and Sinnar in the Nashik district have shown their support. In order to back the demand for Maratha reservations, they have now prohibited politicians from entering their villages. They have said that unless the community receives reserve benefits, politicians will not be permitted to visit their areas. While the government’s 10% quota concession was a positive step in addressing community concerns, the demand to be included to the OBC category reveals a deeper degree of discontent. The perception among voters that the BJP government is taking its time to handle the problem has made them more dissatisfied.

Dindori MIDC

The creation of additional MIDC sites in Talegaon-Akrale by the state government has resulted in a boom in industrial growth in Dindori. The simplicity of setup for enterprises is what sets this concept apart; rather than buying property and erecting structures, they may rent pre-made shelters from the MIDC. This enables businesses to swiftly set up their equipment and start up. Rentable plots of one acre or more are in high demand, drawing significant investment; Dindori has already received Rs. 4800 crores in industrial investments.

Infrastructure for Trains

Upgrades to a number of stations included new waiting spaces, upgraded platforms, and increased accessibility. In addition, they installed Wi-Fi, computerized ticketing systems, and water coolers. In addition to the stations itself, new bridges, electrified train lines, and updated signaling systems were constructed. In order to improve regional connectivity, they also added new rail lines and expanded those that already existed.

Transportation Network

An announcement was made in January of this year about the allocation of Rs. 113 crore for the purpose of enhancing road connections and modernizing the current road infrastructure in Dindori.

Voter Profiles

Voters in total: 1725172

SC: 138,014 (8%)

ST: 622,787 (36.1%)

Composition by Region

193,219 voters (11.2%) are urban

1,531,953 voters in rural areas (88.8%)

Contents of Religion

Hindu: 94.5 percent

3.9% of Muslims

Buddhist: 1.55%

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