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Maharashtra minister and BJP’s Chandrapur Lok Sabha seat candidate Sudhir Mungantiwar has said voters made a “mistake” once by giving the Congress a chance from the constituency, but they would not do it again.

In an interview with PTI, Mungantiwar, the MLA from Chandrapur, said he has carried out 300 development works in the area and asked the Congress to detail even two such initiatives taken in the last five years.

He also ruled out any sympathy vote in favor of his congressional opponent.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Suresh alias Balu Dhanorkar was the only Congress MP elected in Maharashtra from the Chandrapur Lok Sabha seat. He died in May of last year.

To a question whether aiming for 400 Lok Sabha seats is realistic for the BJP, Mungantiwar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has “divya drishti” and the target will be achieved under his leadership.

Mungantiwar, which is currently the forest and culture of Maharashtra, is locked in a direct fight with Congress candidate Pratibha Dhanorkar, wife of Balu Dhanorkar, in Chandrapur.

Polling in Chandrapur, located in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, will be held in the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections on April 19.

Asked if it would be a tough fight as the Chandrapur seat was won by the Congress in the last Lok Sabha polls, Mungantiwar said voters made the “mistake” once and gave the grand old party a chance, but they won’t do it again.

Mungantiwar asked the Congress to detail even two development works initiated by him in Chandrapur in the last five years compared to the works carried out by him.

“I am not fighting for myself but for the country. As a state minister and MLA from Chandrapur, I have done more than 300 development works. I am known as a simple MLA, who listens to the people and works for them. I have a Ph.D. “Something has happened to me… and I have done several jobs for people. The Chandrapur public will support me,” he said.

The BJP leader said his focus will be on irrigation, agriculture, health, education and industries, he said.

Asked if her Congress opponent Pratibha Dhanorkar could get sympathy votes due to the demise of her husband and sitting MP from Chandrapur Balu Dhanorkar, Mungantiwar wondered if there is a time limit for expiry (date) of sympathy or not.

Sympathy is not the issue in this election. Even the leaders of her own party do not want her to win, she claimed.

Asked if he was happy to go to central politics after being reluctant earlier, Mungantiwar said he never knew that when he sent doors from Chandrapur during the construction of the new Parliament building, he would be waiting to call him.

Notably, teak wood from Chandrapur was used for the construction of the new Parliament building.

Mungantiwar said he never thought of becoming an MLA or MP, but he had thought of around 150 development initiatives (to restore the legacy of Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) and 40 of them have been completed.

“But after going to Parliament I will be able to complete the 150 works of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” he said.

When asked if pollution in Chandrapur, which has several power plants and industries, is one of the key issues in the polls, the BJP leader said the Congress did nothing about it and would work to resolve it and make efforts for the overall development of the electoral district. .

(Only the title and image of this report may have been modified by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First published: April 4, 2024 | 11:25 am IS


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