Constituency Watch: Cong ‘insider’ Praniti Shinde to take on BJP’s ‘outsider’ Ram Satpute in Solapur

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Mumbai, March 30 (IANS) Although the contest in Solapur (SC) is between the traditional political rivals Congress and BJP, for now, it is being projected by both sides as a contest between two young leaders.

The Congress has fielded its firebrand leader and legislator Praniti Shinde — daughter of former Union Home Minister and ex-Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, while the BJP has nominated MLA Ram Satpute.

Both Congress and BJP have made the contest a prestige issue.

The Congress has already launched an aggressive campaign making it an “outsider versus local” contest. The obvious target is Satpute, who is a native of Beed district and is being fielded from the Solapur reserved seat.

On the other hand, BJP and Satpute have launched a counter while turning the fight into “a daughter of the former chief minister against a son of a sugarcane labourer”.

For the Congress, it’s an opportunity to strike back and regain its past glory by winning the seat as former Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had lost in 2014 and 2019.

Solapur district had been the Congress bastion but since 2014, the BJP has made inroads and gained supremacy while outsmarting the grand old party.

Praniti, who is taking on BJP inside and outside the state legislature, wants to counter the party by aggressively taking up the development agenda.

However, the BJP by fielding Satpute, who is a close confidant of Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, plans to retain the seat.

The BJP also plans to seek votes over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s charisma and his vision for India to become a $5 trillion economy and a developed nation by 2047.

Praniti Shinde has stepped up outreach with the voters, projecting herself as the daughter of Solapur against the “outsider”.

Political observers believe that even as Satpute enjoys strong support from the BJP cadres and the RSS, he will have to spend time countering his “outsider” tag.

Furthermore, the Congress and Praniti during campaigning have been questioning Satpute over his wealth despite being the first time legislator from Malshiraj constituency in Solapur district.

But Satpute is also quite pro-active in responding to Congress’ campaign asking Sushilkumar Shinde to reveal details of his property and assets.



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