Non-Congress, Non-BJP Dalit leaders fare poorly in Vidarbha
Nagpur: Several non-Congress and non-BJP Dalit leaders, who chose to contest this Lok Sabha election individually or from various factions of Republican Party of India in Vidarbha region, had to bite the dust with most of them faring very poorly in the hustings.
Bharip Bahujan Maha Sangh`s Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dalit icon Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, once again lost from Akola Lok Sabha constituency to Sanjay Dhotre of BJP.
However, this time, he managed to touch the six digit mark with a tally of 2,38,736 votes, thereby improving his previous count of 2,22,678 votes in 2009.
A former Rajya Sabha member (1990-96), Ambedkar was defeated by Pandurang Phundkar in 1996.
Two years later, he took his sweet revenge and emerged victorious along with other Dalit leaders RS Gavai (Amravati) and Jogendra Kawade (Chimur) from Vidarbha. All the three Dalit leaders got elected due to Congress` social engineering with Sharad Pawar at the helm of affairs.
However, Ambedkar was re-elected in 1999 as Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh nominee.
After RS Gavai`s subsequent election to Rajya Sabha and later elevation as Governor of Bihar and Kerala, NCP picked up his younger son Rajendra Gavai (of RPI-Gavai) for Amravati Lok Sabha constituency in 2009 but he lost to Shiv Sena nominee Anandrao Adsul. Gavai had polled 2,52,570 votes.
This time, NCP dumped Gavai (RPI-Gavai) and picked up actress Navneet Kaur Rana, wife of Badnera independent MLA Ravi Rana. But she too lost to Adsul from Amravati seat.
Gavai cried foul against NCP leadership and contested an an independent only to finish fourth with 54,278 votes.
Besides these two, many individuals who fought on tickets from Ambedkarite Republican Party Prabuddha Republican Party, Ambedkarwad Republican Party, Republican Party of India (Khobragade) fared very badly and lost their deposits.
Apart from Ambedkar, his Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh candidate Mohan Rathod in Yavatmal mustered 22,634 votes against Sena leader Bhawna Gawli who has been re-elected this time with Maharashtra Minister for Social Justice Shivajirao Moghe finishing as the runner-up.
Rest of all Ambedkarites contestants polled less than 10,000 votes.
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