Nashik: Dindori (ST) constituency in Maharashtra is being keenly watched for its tribal profile, where the BJP is fighting the battle to retain the seat by fielding an NCP turncoat against CPI (M) leader Jeeva Pandu Gavit for the April 29 Lok Sabha elections.
The tribal-dominated Dindori taluka is part of Nashik district in north Maharashtra.
In two general elections held in 2009 and 2014, Dindori constituency, which was formed after delimitation in 2008, elected BJP's Harishchandra Chavan on both the occasions.
However, this time, Chavan was not renominated by the BJP which has instead given a ticket to Bharti Pawar, a former leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).
Pawar is squaring off against Gavit, a seven-time MLA, and Dhanraj Mahale of the NCP.
In the 2009 contest, Jeeva Pandu Gavit polled 1,05,352 votes aginst Chavan whose winning tally stood at 2,81,254 votes.
In 2014 polls, Pawar was the first runner-up from the constituency who polled 1,95,165 votes. The CPI (M)'s Hemant Waghere had finished third by bagging 72,599 votes.
Presently, Dindori constituency comprises six legislative assembly segments, namely Nandgaon, Kalvan (ST), Chandwad, Yevla, Niphad and Dindori (ST) seats.
NCP's Pankaj Bhujbal is the sitting MLA from Nandgaon, and his fatherChhagan Bhujbal, a former minister, from Yevla.
Gavit represents Kalvan (ST) seat, while Chandvad and Niphad constituencies are held by the BJP and the Shiv Sena, respectively.
Most of the tribals who took part in the long march of farmers from Nashik to Mumbai in 2018, came from Dindori. Gavit was one of the Leftist leaders responsible for
organising the protest for demands like allotting the forest land titles to tribals. That show of strength by farmers and tribals had forced the state government to take some immediate measures on their demands.
The total 17,28,978 electors in Dindori are mainly divided into three blocs, namely the tribal, the Maratha and Other Backward Classes (OBCs).
Gavit had said that defeating the "anti-farmer" BJP was his goal to contest the elections.
For the BJP, the likely stand of Chavan, who is reportedly sulking since he was denied renomination, and his supporters is an important factor in organising the strategy.
Land titles for the tribals tilling forest land, agrarian distress, drought are the important issues in the constituency.