BJP’s biggest Maratha trump-card is Shivaji’s descendant Udayan Raj Bhosle

Udayanraje Pratap Singh Bhonsle, who has a deep hold in the Maratha community in Maharashtra politics, holds the traditional title of Chhatrapati Shivaji. Udayanraje Bhonsle, the 13th descendant of Shivaji Maharaj, is a 3-time NCP MP from Satara and recently joined the BJP after leaving the NCP.

However, in a political career of 28 years, Udayanraje joined many parties. First BJP then Congress and then NCP i.e. Nationalist Congress Party. But influenced by the ideas of PM Modi, he left the NCP and rejoined the BJP.

Contested first parliamentary election as an independent

Udayanraje Bhonsle started his political career as a corporator. In the year 1991, he stood in the municipal elections. After winning the election of the ward, he was a municipal servant for five years. He contested the first parliamentary election as an independent candidate. In the year 1996, he contested the election against Congress’s strongman Prataprao Bhonsle.

Though Udayan Raje Bhonsle could not win the election but he stood third with 1 Lakh 13 Thousand 685 votes. Everyone was also surprised when an independent leader got so many votes. BJP leader Late Gopinath Munde, sensing the hold of Udayanraje Bhosle over Maratha voters, got him included in BJP. In 1998, Udayanraje Bhonsle won the elections from the Satara assembly seat and became the Revenue Minister in the Shiv Sena-BJP government.

Hat-trick of victory on NCP ticket

In 1999, he was imprisoned for 22 months for the murder of Sharad Lehve, a supporter of opposition candidate Abhay Singh Raje. After being acquitted of the charge, he was released from jail but after that he lost the election.

In 2008, Udayanraje joined the Congress. In the year 2009, when the Congress left the seat of Satara for the NCP, Udayanraje joined the NCP and contested from Satara. Udayanraje from Satara contested and won the 2009, 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections consecutively on NCP ticket, putting a hat-trick. Udayanraje has been an independent once and a three-time NCP MP.

Udayanraje has taken engineering degree

Udayanraje was born on 24 February 1966 in Nashik. His father’s name is Pratap Singh and mother’s name is Kalpana Raje. He has done his graduation in Production Engineering. He married Damayanti Raje on 20 November 2003. He has a daughter and a son.

Good relations with Devendra Fadnavis

Udayanraje Bhonsle has good relations with Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Devendra Fadnavis joined BJP to cash in on Udayanraje Bhonsle’s popularity among Maratha voters. He joined the BJP in the presence of party president Amit Shah and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. In such a situation, another strong face of the Maratha community has become ready for BJP in Maharashtra.

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