Gadkari’s hands are tied

November 27 2011

Gadkari, who has brought about a corporate-like running of the BJP is on cloud nine nowadays. He has expressed his desire to contest the Lok Sabha elections and sent shock waves through the party. Now the most crucial question is whether he will contest elections from Nagpur or Wardha. Nagpur is his karmsthali and has learnt everything from grocery selling to sticking posters in the city. The Sangh may have its headquarters in Nagpur but it has never been able to register a win from here, except once in 1996. So a politics pro Gadkari knows that if he has to win from Nagpur, he will have to do what the Congress does. And contesting from the city is, in any case, an expensive proposition. As much as Rs 6 crore to Rs 7 crore is spent on an election here and punters have already started to place bets that if Gadkari does decide on contesting elections from here, how much will the budget increase. That’s because Gadkari knows about finances and is also a pro at getting it. When Gadkari was the public works minister in the BJP-Shiv Sena government in Maharashtra, he had brought a lot of big infrastructure plans to Nagpur. But he may have to lock horns with the old hand of Congress – Vilas Muttemvar. So he is also eyeing the Wardha seat. In the last elections, BJP’s Suresh Vaghmare lost the seat to Dutta Meghe. Vaghmare and Gadkari have never really gotten along with each other and Congressman Dutta Meghe is one of the closest friends of Gadkari. And he recently took everyone by surprise when he announced his retirement from politics. Those who know are well informed why he took this step. So the next Lok Sabha elections are like a penalty kick for Gadkari. His inclination and body language may suggest that he may go for Nagpur, but he may snub his nose at his opposition within the party and register a win from Wardha. This is not only his style but may also be the only choice he’s got.

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