Raigad in Maharashtra has to choose between the ‘inactive’ incumbent and someone being investigated for corruption

IANS

  • The Raigad seat, in Maharashtra, is going to be close contest between Shiv Sena’s Anant Geeta and the Nationalist Congress Party’s Sunil Tatkare during the third phase of the general election 2019.
  • Geeta is being called by the opposition and voters for being ‘inactive’ during his tenure as the state’s Heavy Industries Minister.
  • Tatkare is currently under investigated for alleged corruption in one of Raigad’s irrigation projects.
The Raigad Lok Sabha is fairly new constituency that only came into existence in 2008. And since the general election 2009, only one man has been holding that seat — Anant Geete from Shiv Seva, a Marathi regional and Hindu national political party.

His contender, who only to Geete lost by 2,000 votes in the 2014 general election — Sunil Tatkare — belongs to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

And, of the 16 candidates competing in Raigad, Geete and Tatkare have emerged as the key contenders.

One of the key issues for the constituency is the lack of employment opportunities and the lack of connectivity in the area. It’s also the platform from which Tatkare is attacking Geete.

Apart from that, our focus is on tourism, which will generate many employment opportunities to locals. We are improving road infrastructure for that; we are developing Dighi Port, we are also building the coastal highway.

Geete

GeeteTatkare has been campaigning that Geete, despite being the Heavy Industries Minister, has been largely “inactive” in being able to create jobs. He adds, “I intend to bring in employment by getting automobile and IT industries in the area and through developing the coastal highway to boost tourism.”

Voters has also been agitated about the delay in completing the Mumbai Goa highway, starting the Pen-Alibaug railway as well as the closure of any industrial units.

But Tatkare stands on a shifty platform as well since he’s under investigation for corruption. It has been alleged, as the Minister of Water Resources, Tatkare violated norms in employing the Kodane Irrigation Project for which the costs increased to ₹3.27 billion from ₹56 million during his tenure.

The winner of this Lok Sabha will oversee the Indian government’s ₹300,000 planned investment, in collaboration with oil marketing companies, to develop a mega refinery in Raigad.

That is another point of contention since it was the Shiv Sena to blocked the project from being built in the districts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg — but have no opposition to it being built in Raigad.

Should Geete win, this will be his seventh straight term in the Lok Sabha and he no longer has to deal with the dispute between him and Ramdas Kadam. Meanwhile, Tatkare is banking on Raj Tackeray and his party, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, to oppose the BJP and campaign for the Congress-NCP candidates in the state.

In 2014, Raigad saw a voter turnout of 64.44% and considering the precarious pre-poll conditions, the security arrangements for the polling booths has been increased.

As many as 156 police officers have, 2,228 constabulary staff, 800 home guards, two companies of CRPF jawans and a SRPF platoon have been deployed.

Anil Paraskar, Raigad Superintendent of Police

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