It’s Munde versus Munde contest in Beed
The BJP’s sitting MP Pritam Munde and the NCP’s Bajrang Sonawane might be pitted against each other in the Beed Lok Sabha seat, but on the ground, it is more a battle of one-upmanship between the district’s guardian minister Pankaja Munde and her cousin and senior NCP leader Dhananjay Munde. Dhananjay, who is the leader of opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, and Pankaja, Minister of Rural Development, Women and Child Welfare in the state government, have traded barbs over a host of governance issues, including alleged scams.
Pritam and Pankaja are daughters of late Gopinath Munde, former state deputy chief minister and Union minister, who had won from the seat in 2014 with a margin of 1.36 lakh votes against Suresh Dhas who was then with the NCP. The senior Munde died in a car accident in New Delhi on June 3, 2014, barely days after he was sworn in as cabinet minister in the Narendra Modi government. Pritam Munde swept the bypoll thereafter defeating the Congress’ Ashokrao Patil by a whopping 6.96 lakh votes, the highest victory margin in the country’s Lok Sabha poll history.