Sena rivals prepare for battle after facing off in the 2019 assembly elections

CHHATRAPATI SAMBHAJINAGAR: The Hingoli Lok Sabha seat is expected to see a straight contest between two comparatively lesser-known faces from the two factions of the unified Shiv Sena, after a high-voltage drama surrounding the cancellation of the existing MP’s ticket.

In the 2019 assembly elections, the Congress nominee prevailed over the two contenders: former MLA Nagesh Patil Ashtikar of Shiv Sena (UBT) and Baburao Kadam Kohalikar of the group headed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.

Hemant Patil, the current MP, was the name that Shiv Sena had previously put forth for the seat. However, Shinde gave the ticket to Kohalikar, who is in charge of the party unit in the nearby Nanded district, in response to protests from the BJP’s local unit.

Kohalikar has run unsuccessfully for the Nanded district’s Hadgaon assembly seat in both the 2014 and 2019 elections. Sena had refused him a ticket; therefore, he ran as a rebel independent in his final unsuccessful campaign. In the 2019 assembly election, he came in second behind Congressman Madhavrao Jawalgaonkar by 13,160 votes; however, he had received more votes than both the Shiv Sena nominee and the incumbent MLA, Nagesh Patil Ashtikar.
For Shinde, the contest for the Hingoli Lok Sabha seat has become a contest for prestige, particularly in light of the humiliation caused by the candidate’s substitution. He went with Kohalikar to submit his nomination papers, and it is anticipated that he would do all in his power to support him and remove Sena (UBT) leader Uddhav Thackeray’s hegemony in Hingoli.
Ashtikar, a Sena MLA from 2014 to 2019, represents the Hadgaon assembly seat and has influence over the local cooperative sector. He stayed true to Thackeray during the party split and was appointed Nanded district president.
Ashtikar will have the chance to exact revenge on his farming-backing political foe Kohalikar during the Lok Sabha elections, but the Sena (UBT) candidate is prepared for a challenging campaign in which he would likely campaign on subjects such as agricultural misery.
For Ashtikar, Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) has presented challenges. Leader of the Banjara community, D. B. Chavan, who was formerly with Sena (UBT) and even chosen as an organizer for the Hingoli parliamentary district, has been fielded by the Prakash Ambedkar-led party. Chavan converted to VBA in February with an eye toward an LS election ticket.

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