Despite support in Vidarbha, Cong suffered upsets in ’09 polls
Nagpur: Though the Congress has enjoyed handsome support from the people of Vidarbha region in almost all Maharashtra Assembly polls, by electing the maximum number of party legislators, year 2009 saw two ministers and several prominent leaders suffering shocking defeats.
Five-time MLA and Textile Minister Satish Chaturvedi and Dairy Development Minister Anees Ahmad lost to BJP candidates.
While Chaturvedi was defeated by Krishna Khopde in Nagpur-East by 35,716 votes, Ahmad was routed by former NCP MLC, Sudhakar Deshmukh in Nagpur-West by a slender margin of 1979 votes.
Ahmad, who had earlier represented Nagpur-Central, a Muslim dominated area, shifted himself to West and lost.
EGS Minister Nitin Raut (North) and Dinanath Padole (South) were the only two sitting MLAs of the Congress, who retained their seats and could win in 2009.
Remaining four seats out of six in Nagpur city (urban) and another three in rural including Kamptee, Umrer, Hingana were bagged by BJP.
Shiv Sena retained its Ramtek seat with Ashish Jaiswal while NCP senior leader and Food and Civil Supplies Minister Anil Deshmukh also succeeded in his Katol constituency.
The sixth seat, Savner, was grabbed by controversial Sunil Kedar of Congress who is facing charges of Rs 156-crore fraud in Nagpur District Central Co-operative Bank (NDCCB).
Among the prominent losers were: former Minister of State, Sunil Deshmukh (Amravati), former Minister Ramesh Bang (NCP) from Hingana, Arun Adsad of BJP from Dhamangaon, Harshwardhan Deshmukh of NCP from Morshi (Amravati dist), Amar Kale of Congress from Arvi (Wardha) constituencies.
Bang narrowly lost to newcomer Vijay Ghodmare of BJP by 700 votes.
Raosaheb Shekhawat, son of then President Pratibha Patil (Congress) overcame Sunil Deshmukh in Amravati who turned rebel after party replaced him with Shekhawat. Deshmukh lost by 5,614 votes.
A veteran BJP leader and Chairman of Vidarbha Statutory Development Board, Adsad was humbled by Congress nominee Virendra Jagtap in Dhamangaon by 13,448 votes.
NCP leader Harshwardhan Deshmukh was upset by independent Dr Anil Bonde (Morshi, Amravati) by 6,035 votes and Amar Kale of Congress was beaten by BJP’s Dadarao Keche in Arvi (Wardha) by 3,130 votes.