One of the driest parts of India has sent the same guy to Parliament for twenty years


  • A majority of votes in Jalna, one of Maharashtra’s 48 constituencies, have gone to Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Raosaheb Danve in every general election since 1999.
  • Bidding for his fifth consecutive term in the general election 2019, the area’s water scarcity and growing pressure from the Indian National Congress’ (INC) campaign might not make it a very easy win this time around.
  • The water crisis has gotten so bad that people had to cancel marriages and Jalna is often cited as one of the worst hit parts by the drought in Maharashtra.

A majority of votes in Jalna, one of Maharashtra’s 48 constituencies, have gone to Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Raosaheb Danve in every general election since 1999.

Bidding for his fifth consecutive term in the general election 2019, the area’s water scarcity and growing pressure from the Indian National Congress’ (INC) campaign might not make it a very easy win this time around.

He was able to grab 591,428 votes in 2014 against his Congress opponent, Vilas Autade.

An initial standoff with the party’s regional ally Shiv Sena threatened Danve’s chances but it was settled soon enough. There are still 20 candidates contesting for the Jalna constituency.

Pressure from Congress

Danve is facing resentment from the citizens in the area — who are mostly farmers — with respect to the water scarcity in the region.

Since being elected in 2014, the water crisis has gotten so bad that people had to cancel marriages and Jalna is often cited as one of the worst hit parts by the drought in Maharashtra.

In fact, people actually ran to get in line for water in the middle one of Danve’s speeches on the general election campaign trail when a boy in the crowd announced, “ Paani aaya (Water is here).”

Even as late as last week, people in the area were protesting on the street — blocking roads and burning tyres — to raise awareness around the issue of their constituency’s erratic water supply.

We are cornering the BJP over the issues of water scarcity, drought in the region, unemployment and non-fulfilment of promises made in the run up to the last elections.

Shaikh Mahmood, City Congress president

Shaikh Mahmood, City Congress president

BJP’s confidence

District BJP President, Rameshwar Bhandarge, maintains that the polls in Jalna will be a “cakewalk” for Danve because of all the development that he’s brought about in the constituency.

We have a good organisation here and we have done micro planning on 2,000 polling booths in the constituency.

Rameshwar Bhandarage, District BJP President


That being said, Jalna is one of Maharashtra’s least prosperous regions only accruing an income of ₹403.91 billion in comparison to more developed areas like Pune that accounts for ₹2.25 trillion of the gross district value.

Jalna’s Human Development India (HDI) rank isn’t too impressive either. It’s considered to be ‘low’ at 0.663 in comparison to its counterparts — Pune, Raigad and Mumbai — that come under the ‘very high’ category with HDI’s 0.8 and above.

The Jalna constituency is important for the polls in Maharashtra since its a hub for sugar manufacturing and home to around 180,000 voters deciding the fate of 8 eight assembly segments.
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