Nanded - the drought-ridden Marathwada constituency was the battleground between former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Congress senior leader, Ashok Chavan and BJP's candidate Pratap Chikhlikar who is an MLA from Latur. It delivered a major win for Congress as predicted, with Ashok Chavan losing his home seat to BJP's Pratap Chikhlikar by a margin of 40,010 votes, as of 9:43 PM
Ashok Chavan, whose unceremonious exit as CM owing to the Adarsh housing society controversy fought back delivering one of the few success stories in Lok Sabha elections 2014 for the Congress.
Nanded, however, was more critical for the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as rebellions, infighting and ego tussles among senior leaders in the party had left it with a diminished foothold in Maharashtra and the Chavan stronghold has delivered due to the various infrastructure projects done by the Chavan family.
This constituency which is currently facing a severe drought due to poor rainfall in the region had been saved by the Vishnupuri Dam and other infrastructure and development projects implemented by late Shankarrao Chavan and then his son Ashok Chavan during their tenure as chief ministers of Maharashtra.
While Chavan had reluctantly campaigned in the constituency as he was more interested in contesting in the state Assembly polls which will be held in October, his opponent Pratap Chikhlikar who tried to make inroads into the constituency which had remained unaffected by the Modi wave in both Lok Sabha and Assembly polls, was viewed as an ‘imported candidate’ by Chavan supporters.
Despite BJP winning civic bodies in the region, the Chavans retained their hold over Nanded Municipal Corporation. So while the Lok Sabha polls favoured the Chavans, the Assembly polls are a different question.
Nanded has been held by the Congress majorly since 1952. In 2009, Congress' Bhaskarrao Khatgaonkar won by garnering 44.72% of the votes (3,46,400) over his BJP opponent Sambhaji Pawar.
During 2014, while the BJP gave a tough fight to Chavan by garnering 4,11,620 votes - the Congress leader won by winning 4,93,075 votes.
Nanded polled in the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls on April 18.