The political battleground in Solapur heated up when Congress candidate Praniti Sushilkumar Shinde launched the campaign with a demand for decorum, which was quickly answered by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominee Ram Satpute`s response in open letters exchanged on Monday.

In her letter, Shinde welcomed Satpute`s candidature while urging him to maintain civility over the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2024. She emphasised the need to fight an intellectual battle over public welfare and development, advising both parties to defend democratic norms and avoid creating social divisions, reported IANS. 

According to the report, Shinde, a Solapur native and incumbent MLA, emphasised the city`s unique socioeconomic fabric and the importance of addressing the constituency`s pressing challenges for general success.

“Do bear in mind that, in our ideological struggle over the next 40 days, respect is accorded to democracy, take care that social divisions are not created, and concentrate on how we can ensure the overall progress of the society here… That’s my hope,” Congress leader Shinde said, per the report. 

Praniti, daughter of ex-CM Shushilkumar Shinde further said, “In my opinion, the needs and problems concerning the people, the major issues pertaining to the development of the Solapur constituency should remain the focal point of any electoral debate in a democracy.”

Reportedly, Satpute responded quickly, calling Shinde an `outsider` and highlighting his local links as an elected MLA from the Malshiras Assembly segment. He questioned Shinde and her father, former MP and Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, for their contributions to Solapur`s development, instead crediting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP-led state governments.

“What has she and her father Sushilkumar Shinde (3-time MP) done for the people of Solapur, the workers, the industrial sector and its overall growth for all these years. All the development and progress of the district has been taken up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre and the BJP governments in the state,” he retorted. 

According to the report, Satpute denied charges that the BJP incites religious or socioeconomic differences, stressing the party`s dedication to the inclusive motto `Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas`. Satpute expressed confidence in his victory and predicted Shinde`s eventual recognition of his achievement in the next elections.

Apart from Praniti Shinde, the Solapur Lok Sabha seat is represented by four BJP candidates elected from various constituencies, as well as Yashwant Mane of the Nationalist Congress Party.

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