Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan (File pic)
Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan (File pic)

Karad South: Challenge ahead for Prithviraj Chavan to save Congress fortress

Brajendra Nath Singh | Updated: Oct 05, 2019 14:20 IST

By Brajendra Nath Singh
New Delhi (India) October 5 (ANI): Karad South, one of the 288 Assembly constituencies of Maharashtra in Satara district, which Congress has never lost since its inception, is all set to witness a triangular contest making the battle tough for former Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan.
The Congress has renominated Chavan as its candidate from this party bastion while the BJP has pitted young party leader Atul Bhosale, who till his nomination was the President of the Pandharpur's Vithal-Rukmini Temple Samiti and enjoyed a rank of Minister of State.
Chavan made his entry to Maharashtra Assembly by winning this seat for the first time in 2014. He had defeated Vilasrao Patil, a seven-time MLA from Karad South. After the Congress chose Chavan over him in 2014, Patil contested as an independent candidate.
A day after Chavan and Bhosale filed nomination papers, Udaysinh Patil, son of Vilarao Patil a political rival of Chavan, on Friday too filed nomination as an independent candidate from Karad South. His presence has made the contest triangular.
Udaysinh is a Zila Parishad member and chairman of the Rayat Cooperative Sugar Factory.
Bhosale too had contested 2014 Assembly polls in Karad South against the Chavan and Patil but bagged the third spot with around 58,000 votes.
Since his defeat Bhosale has been active in the area and was supported immensely by Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis in terms of implementing development works. For the purpose, he was appointed President of Pandharpur's Vithal-Rukmini Temple Samiti and given the rank of Minister of State.
Karad South Assembly constituency is a seat in Maharashtra, which has never been won either by BJP and Shiv Sena or by Sharad Pawar led Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Since the creation of Maharashtra state in 1960, the seat has been represented by the Congress in the Assembly. The state has so far witnessed 13 Assembly elections and the Congress candidates have always won elections from here.
Yashwantrao Jijoba Mohite aka Bhau represented the seat till his election to MP in 1980. He was among one of the founders of Peasants and Workers Party of India and became MLA from Karad South in 1952. But resigned from the post as a part of agitation for the demand of separate Maharashtra state.
He was re-elected as an MLA on Majdur Kisan Party ticket in 1957. However, in 1960 he joined the Congress and won assembly elections of 1962,1967, 1972 and 1978. He held different portfolios in Maharashtra government.
After Bhau was elected to Lok Sabha, the seat was won by Vikasrao Patil of Congress (Urs), a breakaway faction of the Indira Gandhi-led Congress (I). The party was formed in July 1979 by D. Devaraj Urs, the then Chief Minister of Karnataka.
Patil later returned to Congress and won elections from the seat for a record seven-time till he was denied ticket in 2014 to pave the way for Prithviraj Chavan. After winning the seat, Chavan became the third MLA from Karad South representing Congress.
In 2014 elections, though Chavan won by 14,000 votes, the fight was a three-way one. Chavan got 76,831 votes while Vilasrao Patil received 60,413 votes. Bhosale managed to get over 58,000 votes.
Since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister in 2014, the Congress has lost many of its bastions across the country against BJP including Amethi. But Karad South Assembly seat in Maharashtra has remained its bastion till date.
It will be interesting to see this election in Maharashtra whether Congress succeeds in saving its old fort or BJP breaches the Congress' fortress.
Located at the confluence of the Krishna and Koyna rivers, Karad is a part of Maharashtra's sugar bowl. The town, which traces its origins to the Shilaharas, is placed strategically on the Mumbai-Bangalore National Highway and also has a railhead and airstrip. The region has a large number of people in the armed forces. (ANI)