In the seat sharing formula between NCP and Congress, the Dhule Lok Sabha seat has been given to the Congress. During the last Lok Sabha election, Congress chose a non-Maratha candidate. This, combined with internal factionalism led to the defeat of Congress against the BJP. This time, the Congress wants to win it back. With six partymen in line BJP has the challenge of choosing the right candidate to retain the seat.
The Dhule Lok Sabha constituency comprises six assembly constituencies of Shindkheda, Dhule city, Dhule rural, Baglan, outer Malegaon and central Malegaon of Nashik district. Last time, Pratap Sonawane of the BJP won the seat against Congress candidate Amrish Patel by 19,000 votes. Patel lost as Janata Dal (Secular) candidate Nihal Ahmed secured most of the Muslim votes.
From the Congress, the names of Patel, who is now MLC, senior Congress leader and former minister Rohidas Patil and loyal Congressman from Malegaon Dr Tushar Sehwali are doing the rounds. Also, former MP from Vadodara, Satyajitsinh Gaikwad and former minister Baliram Hire, who recently joined the Congress, are also interested in contesting from Dhule.
From BJP, the present MP Pratap Sonawane, Advay Hire from Malegaon, Rohidas Patil's brother-in-law Subhash Devre and educationist Suresh Ramrao Patil are interested in contesting the polls. All four are from the Maratha community.
Sonawane is facing opposition from within the party. Last time, the dissatisfied groups in Congress made victory easy for him. Former minister Pushpatai Hire's grandson Advay Hire was to enter the BJP which has been delayed. So he is, as yet, out of the race.
Amrish Patel is interested in a Congress ticket. But last time's failure and opposition from Rohidas Patil supporters may prove a hurdle for him. The Muslim party workers are keen on a Muslim candidate due to the huge number of Muslim voters in Malegaon and Dhule.
There is no NaMo or Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) impact is not visible in Dhule.
The present MP Pratap Sonawane has no people's connect in Malegaon central and Dhulia city. The work of Manmad-Indore railway line is not progressing as he had promised. But he has used his funds completely to solve issues like irrigation facilities, civic problems etc. But no big project or work has been executed. Yet, the Congress may think of giving him the ticket. Lok Sabha 2009
Total voting: 6,69,906 (42.47%)
Pratap Sonawane (BJP): 2,63,260 (39.30%)
Amrish Patel (Congress): 2,43,841 (36.40%)
Nihal Ahmed (Janata Dal): 72,738 (10.86%)
Anil Gote (Lok Sangram): 53,637 (8.01%)Development factor important
If the Manmad-Indore railway line work begins, it will benefit the Congress. The State government has decided to bear some cost of the project. Hence, at least, the work will help the Congress in the State. The rate of unemployment in Dhule is high. The oil industry in Dhulia and the MIDC in Nardana has failed to generate employment and fewer irrigations facilities are available. The youths said they would help candidates who will generate employment.State Legislative Assembly 2009
Dhule Rural: Sharad Patil (Shiv Sena)
Dhule City: Anil Gote (Lok Sangram)
Sindkheda: Jaikumar Rawal (BJP)
Malegaon Central: Mufti Mohammad Ismail (Jan Surajya)
Malegaon Outer: Dadaji Bhuse (Shiv Sena)
Baglan: Umaji Borse (BJP)Voters’ voice
Land should be acquired for Manmad-Indore rail route
Promote the pomegranate research centre and processing unit
Works related to roads should be carried out under the Prime Minister's Rural Road Scheme and poor people should be provided financial assistance from the Prime Minister's Relief Fund
Central clearance should be given to the second Manjarpada project
Satana-Malegaon road should be four-laned