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Cong's Nagpur MP survives 'sabotage'

Source: PTI
May 17, 2009 20:29 IST
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Union Minister of State for New and Renewable Energy and six-term Congress MP Vilas Muttemwar has survived the alleged sabotage attempts by his own Congress colleagues to enter the Lok Sabha for the seventh time. He has won Lok Sabha elections for the fourth time in succession from Nagpur. His party MLAs, including former state textiles minister Satish Chaturvedi, Minister for Textiles Anees Ahmed and Minister of State for Home Nitin Raut, had allegedly worked against party interests during the April 16 polls.
Anticipating trouble, Muttemwar had complained to the party bosses and shared the same with media. He had written many letters to his party workers saying that attempts have been made to damage his prospects and they should be prepared for the eventuality. But the results have shown that he can survive any sabotage.

Muttemwar polled 3,15,148 votes, lesser by 58,621 votes which he secured during 2004 elections. His winning margin in 1998 was highest of 1,63,282 votes which slipped to 72,695 votes in the subsequent election in 1999. In 2004, his winning margin was 99,483 and the lowest vote margin so far in his political career since 1980, is 24,399 votes.  

Making his debut in Lok Sabha directly in 1980 from Chimur, Muttemwar had won in 1980, 1984 and 1991 and lost 1996 election. He shifted his base from Chimur to Nagpur and did not look back since 1998. He was also a Union Minister of State for Poverty Alleviation in the Narasimha Rao government.
The Congress-Nationalist Congress Party combine in Vidarbha region, particularly in eastern part of the region has done well compared to western Vidarbha. The Congress has bagged four seats in Nagpur, Ramtek, Wardha and Gadchiroli and NCP has bagged the most prestigious seat of Bhandara-Gondia where high profile senior party leader and Union Minister for Civil Aviation Praful Patel has won. Patel, after two successive defeats in Chimur in 1999 polls and in Bhandara in 2004 has secured 4,98,814 votes in 2009, the highest tally in his political career in Parliamentary election since 1989.
Former Maharashtra Minister of State for Tribal Welfare Maruti Kowase emerged victorious against sitting BJP MLA Ashok Nete in naxal infested Gadchiroli-Chimur constituency.
NCP's former Rajya Sabha MP Datta Meghe, who was denied ticket and subsequently joined Congress has won from Wardha seat, which he represented after winning in 1998. The BJP has bagged Chandrapur and Akola seats while Shiv Sena retained its Yavatmal-Washim seat and bagged Amravati. In Chandrapur Hansraj Ahir has retained his seat for the second term after losing it in 1998 and 1999.     

Shiv Sena's Bhawana Gawali has won Yawatmal-Wasim seat in 1999 and 2004 general elections. Newly elected Sena MP Prataprao Jadhav from Buldana constituency is new entrant to Parliament. The Bharatiya Janata Party's Sanjay Dhotre has retained his Akola seat defeating senior Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar.

Congress nominee Babasaheb Dhabekar finished third in Akola. The Congress had fielded Harisingh Rathor, a former BJP MP from Yavatmal who joined the party. However, he failed to get support from voters and lost in Yavatmal-Washim.
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