With less than a month to go for general election in Eastern Vidarbha, the electioneering is yet to pick up here, mainly due to delay in nominations by the major political parties.
So far only the Congress has officially announced names of Nana Patole from Nagpur, Dr Namdeo Usendi from Gadchiroli but the rival major political party BJP has not released the names of its candidates even that of sitting MP Nitin Gadkari from Nagpur, who is party stalwart and Union Minister for Transport, Shipping and Ganga Rejuvenation.
Another prominent name still wating for nomination is that of Praful Patel from Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha constituency. Patel has recently made it clear that he himself alone and not any member from his family will be in the poll fray. Earlier speculations were doing the rounds that Prafulbhai who is already a Rajya Sabha member may field his wife Varshaben. But he has completely ruled out the possibility and closed the chapter. But though he is number two in party, the Central Parliamentary Board of NCP has so far not announced his candidature.
Gadkari himself a member of the Central Election Committee of BJP had attended its meeting in Amritsar two days back but the party has not released the list incuding his name.
Other Congress aspirants like Charulata Rau Tokas from Wardha and Congress General Secretary and former Union Minister Mukul Wasnik, who is close to 10 Janpath, has not found his name for Ramtek seat (reserved), which he had represented previously. For Chandrapur, the Congress is perhaps in dilemma as to whom should be fielded against sitting MP and Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir.
The senior Ambedkarite leader Prakash Ambedfkar, who released a list of candidates across Maharashtra, could not find a candidate for Nagpur. Things will be clear soon whether he is supporting Nana Patole of Congress as the Congress nominee had claimed that Ambedkar had assured him support, The picture is hazy but as the days for closing of nominations draw, it will be known.
Due to national mourning following death of Goa Chief Minister and former Defence Minister, Manohar Parrkar, the BJP resctricted itself from releasing list of candidates for first and second phase polls scheduled for April 11 and 18.
On Monday, Gadkari was also busy in Goan politics after the demise and right from picking up successor of Parrikar to counter the Congress claim of forming government in Panaji. He had rushed to Goa on Sunday night itself apart from attending the last rites.
Opening balance on day one: One nomination for Nagpur
On the first day of opening of nominations for April 11 Lok Sabha election, one AIMIM candidate A Karim Gafoor on Monday filed his papers for Nagpur Lok Sabha constituency.
Meanwhile Vinod Kumar, an IRS 2005 batch officer, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax Surat, has been appointed as poll observer for Napur and 2008 IRS batch officer Pavitra Kumar, who is Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, Tricharapalli, will be observer for Ramtek constituency.