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Modi’s Standing Unaffected By Persistent Concerns Of Ahmednagar: Farmer Distress, Job Shortage, Maratha Quota

In Maharashtra, India's most industrialized state, which represents nearly 10 percent (9.23 crore) of the country’s total electorate, employment quotas remain a topic of concern, but their influence on voting decisions is not straightforward.

Edited By : simran rajpal | Updated: May 12, 2024 07:23 IST
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Modi's Standing Unaffected By Persistent Concerns Of Ahmednagar

In the heart of Ahmednagar, 250 km east of Mumbai, businessman Machhindra Darkunde, 42, who produces edible oils, acknowledges that farmers are in pain, and the Maratha community is upset over reservation.

“He says, ‘My people are angry that Modiji didn’t refer at all to reservation during his rally here four days ago,’ and then promptly rises to explain. ‘But the people have to understand that if he makes a promise here, he will have to promise in other states too. How can he do that?’ says Darkunde, a Maratha himself.”

In Maharashtra, the most industrialized state in India, which comprises nearly 10 percent (9.23 crore) of the country’s total electorate, the issue of employment quotas is significant, but its influence on voting choices remains uncertain.

It’s no surprise that in a state where political boundaries shift and redefine only to blur again, the voter finds herself in a dilemma. If she supported the Sena in 2019, she now faces a choice between two Senas; if she backed the NCP, she must choose between two NCPs. Only June 4 will reveal how this situation unfolds, but amidst this confusion, one thing seems a bit clearer.

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Amidst these shifting political alliances, the responsibility for joblessness, Maratha reservation issues, and farmer losses has also become diffuse. It rests at several doorsteps, including those of the BJP-Sena (Shinde)-NCP (Ajit Pawar) state government, the preceding state administration, and internal party politics—rather than solely on Modi.

What did the other people from Ahmednagar say?

“Tanaji, a Maratha in his 50s working as a driver in Mumbai, asserts, ‘Modi is stuck in people’s mind, he will return to power.'” From Darakunde, the entrepreneur, to a young upper-caste engineer starting his first job in Karegaon, to a tea stall owner for 10 years in Ahmednagar, and from a salaried individual in his 30s in Maval to a farmer in Shirur supporting Sharad Pawar,

Each person has their own diagnosis of their problem, but they don’t see “voting against Modi” as a guaranteed solution, despite what many in the Opposition want to portray.

There is also a context to this.

Naushad Forbes, co-chairman of Forbes Marshall Pvt Ltd, an industrial machinery manufacturing company with units in Pimpri and Chakan in Pune district, emphasizes that unemployment is indeed a problem but not just limited to the last 10 years.

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First published on: May 12, 2024 07:23 AM IST

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