Home INDIA Pawar vs Pawar In Maharashtra As Supriya Sule Takes On Rebel Cousin’s Wife

Pawar vs Pawar In Maharashtra As Supriya Sule Takes On Rebel Cousin’s Wife

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Pawar vs Pawar In Maharashtra As Supriya Sule Takes On Rebel Cousin's Wife

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Sunetra Pawar is the second member of Ajit Pawar’s family to contest the Lok Sabha elections.

Mumbai:

A historic showdown awaits in Maharashtra’s Baramati as the splintered National Congress Party (NCP) gears up for a unique ‘Pawar vs Pawar’ contest in Supriya Sule, daughter of party patriarch Sharad Pawar, taking on Sunetra Pawar, the wife of Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.

Baramati, in Pune district, has evolved over the years from devastating famines to a thriving center of agriculture, industry and trade. Decades of Pawar family dominance have shaped the political narrative of this region. The Pawar family’s influence has been integral to this transformation, with Sharad Pawar’s political career dating back to the 1960s, when he first won in this constituency.

Schism in the family

The emergence of two factions within the NCP, led by Sharad Pawar and his cousin Ajit Pawar, has paved the way for a dramatic election battle. The NCP’s founding faction has nominated Supriya Sule, 54, while Sunetra Pawar, 60 and sister-in-law of Ms Sule, has entered the fray as a candidate representing the rival faction.

On July 2 last year, Ajit Pawar, accompanied by eight NCP MLAs, joined the Eknath Shinde government, leading to a rift within the ranks of the NCP party. The division within the NCP has given voters and party workers a choice between two Pawars.

“It will be a very difficult choice for voters and party workers to choose between two Pawars. It is a match that they could never have imagined before July 2 last year,” said Madan Devkate, a local leader, as quoted by news agency PTI.

Since the 1960s, the Baramati Lok Sabha constituency, which includes the assembly seats of Baramati, Indapur, Daund, Purandar, Bhor and Khadakwasla, has served as Sharad Pawar’s stronghold.

Ajit Pawar has been representing Baramati as an MLA since 1991 and registered a resounding victory in 2019 by securing an astonishing 83 per cent of the vote share.

Supriya vs Sunetra

The Baramati Lok Sabha constituency consists of six assembly segments: Baramati city, Indapur, Daund, Purandar, Bhor and Khadakwasla.

Within these segments, Congress holds power in Bhor and Purandar, while Baramati and Indapur have historically favored the NCP (before its split). The BJP has influence in Daund and Khadakwasala.

In the 2019 elections, Supriya Sule secured her third consecutive victory in Baramati constituency under the NCP banner.

NCP (SP) – Opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Sharad Pawar faction will contest 10 seats along with Shiv Sena (UBT) and Congress in Maharashtra, a state with 48 Lok Sabha seats. Baramati elections are scheduled for the third phase on May 7.

For Sule, 54, this marks her debut in a Lok Sabha election, where the NCP’s support base will be split between followers of her father and her cousin. While Sule relies on the loyalty of Pawar Clan supporters and her track record as a Lok Sabha representative, Ajit Pawar can get additional support from Shiv Sena cadres led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, as well as the BJP.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP candidate Kanchan Kul, wife of Daund MLA Rahul Kul, suffered a defeat to Ms Sule by a margin of over 1.55 lakh votes.

Ms Sule’s victory margin in Baramati in her debut Lok Sabha contest in 2009 was 3,36,831 against BJP nominee Kanta Nalawade. This margin dropped to 69,719 in 2014 when Rashtriya Samaj Paksha leader Mahadev Jankar contested her. In 2019, Ms Sule’s vote share rose to 6,86,714 with a vote share of 52.63%, securing her victory by over 1.55 lakh votes.

Sunetra Pawar is the second member of Ajit Pawar’s family to contest the Lok Sabha elections. In 2019, Ajit’s son Parth contested from Maval seat in Pune district but was defeated by Shiv Sena’s Shrirang Barne.

Sunetra Pawar comes from a politically active family in Marathwada. She is the sister of Padamsinh Patil, a former minister who initially belonged to the Congress but later joined Sharad Pawar’s NCP in 1999.

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