Eye on Lok Sabha polls? Nirmala Sitharaman begins 3-day tour of Pawar stronghold Baramati – The Indian Express

Eyeing the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP began preparations to make inroads into Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s stronghold of Baramati in Maharashtra with Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman beginning her three-day tour of the constituency on Thursday. The seat is currently represented by Pawar’s daughter, Supriya Sule.
According to a senior BJP leader, the party is hoping to upset the established family stronghold in Baramati as it did it in Amethi in 2019 by defeating Rahul Gandhi.
The Baramati Lok Sabha constituency includes Khadakwasla, Bhor, Purandar, Daund, Indapur and Baramati Assembly constituency and covers parts of Pune city and various tehsils in the district.
Sitharaman will begin her tour on Thursday by meeting RSS office-bearers and Vichar Parivar Samanvay representatives at Dhankawadi in the morning. Later, she will hold meetings with BJP office-bearers of the district at Dhayari, followed by an interaction with members of the Lok Sabha core committee in Warje.
On Thursday afternoon, Sitharaman will meet office-bearers of various BJP wings as part of the party’s preparations for the elections. The BJP has also planned a motorcycle rally from Bavdhan to Varve village on the national highway.
The Union minister will interact with beneficiaries of various government schemes at Varve village in Bhor, and in the evening, attend a function on 75 years’ of Indian independence at Bhivri in Purandar. Later, she will also hold a meeting with local BJP units at Saswad.
“We had ended the supremacy of the Gandhi family in Amethi in the 2019 general elections by defeating Rahul Gandhi. If we can do it in Amethi, then we can easily do it in Baramati,” senior BJP leader and former minister Ram Shinde had said earlier while announcing Sitharaman’s itinerary. The Union minister is expected to attend at least 21 sessions on her three-day tour.
“The BJP started work to end the Pawar hold on Baramati in 2014 but could not do it in 2014 and 2019. We are confident of doing so now. The BJP had a narrow loss in the previous Lok Sabha elections,” Shinde had said.
The BJP has focused on 144 Lok Sabha seats that it could not win in the previous elections, said Shinde, adding that 16 of those are from Maharashtra. This includes Baramati and Shirur from Pune, both currently represented by the NCP, he added.
When her tour was announced, Sule had said that she had invited Sitharaman to Baramati to look at the development works in the constituency.
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