Congress fortress Nanded gave a father-son CMs to Maharashtra

Nanded (Maharashtra):  Nanded is famous for the Takht Sachkhand Sri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib gurudwara, one of the Five Takhts in Sikhism, built in 1837 at a place where the 10th and last Sikh Guru Gobind Singhji had succumbed to war-related injuries (1708).

The region’s other claim to fame is the father-son — Shankarrao B. Chavan and Ashok S. Chavan — being elected as CM on different occasions, the first duo spanning two generations of a single political family to achieve this honour in the state.

Nanded has elected Congress Lok Sabha candidates 13 times since 1952, plus a bye-election, twice Bharatiya Janata Party nominees (2004 and 2019), plus the Scheduled Castes Federation, Janata Party and Janata Dal once each.

This time, the way Nanded votes will be interesting as the Congress strongman and ex-CM Ashok S. Chavan has joined the BJP, and the party has re-nominated its sitting MP Prataprao G. Chikhalikar.

In the main triangular contest, Chikhalikar’s main rivals shall be Maha Vikas Aghadi-Congress nominee Vasantrao B. Chavan and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi’s (VBA) Avinash V. Bosikar, in the LS elections scheduled on April 26.

Nanded Lok Sabha seat is made up of six assembly segments of which three are with the Congress, two with BJP and one with ruling ally Shiv Sena.

They include: Congress’ Bhokar (presently vacant as Ashok S. Chavan joined BJP and became a Rajya Sabha Member two months ago), Deglur-SC (MLA Jitesh Antapurkar), Nanded South (MLA Mohanrao Hambarde), BJP in Naigaon (MLA Rajesh Pawar) and Mukhed (MLA Tushar Rathod), besides Shiv Sena in Nanded North (MLA Balaji D. Kalyankar).

Among the bigwigs elected here, S. B. Chavan was twice a Union Home Minister and held other major central cabinet positions besides being the state CM twice.

Similarly, his son was the CM twice but had to quit in his second innings (in November 2010) following the Adarsh Society scam, while another prominent personality elected from Nanded was the cooperatives sector stalwart, Bhaskarrao B. Khatgaonkar-Patil.

Given the changed political dynamics here, it remains to be seen which way the electorate will vote considering several other factors, including legitimising Ashok Chavan’s jump to the BJP. The district has a population of around 35 lakh, including 75 per cent Hindus, over 15 per cent Muslim and Sikh minorities, 11 per cent Dalits, and other communities.

Boasting a long history, dating back nearly 2,400 years, the founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak Devji had passed through Nanded en route his journey to Sri Lanka, during his long travels to various Asian countries.

This was the region where the 10th and last Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh succumbed to war-related injuries and witnessed the martyrdom of his four minor sons, two in battle and two were executed by the Mughals.

(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at:


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