MUMBAI: It’s all in the family as far as the Maharashtra Assembly elections are concerned. Sample this. Those in fray for the October 21 polls include family members of six former chief ministers and four former deputy chief ministers. A cursory glance at the list of all the parties shows that in about a third of the constituencies that are to poll on October 21, the nominees include members of some political family or the other. And, Congress, it turns out, is leading the stakes as far as fielding “family members” are concerned. While the BJP and ally Shiv Sena, which have gained from bulk defections from rival political camps in the recent past, are vying for the second spot.
While the Sena, in a departure from tradition, has put Thackeray scion Aditya Thackeray in the fray from the prestigious Worli assembly constituency, it has also handed tickets to relatives of those who have held key party posts. However, they have the least number of candidates from the families of leaders who held public office in the past.
Congress is clearly ahead in the stakes, with two sons of late former CM Vilasrao Deshmukh, entering the fray in Latur district. While elder son Amit is seeking reelection from Latur City Assembly constituency, Dhiraj, the youngest, would make his debut from Latur Rural seat. Another former CM Sushilkumar Shinde’s daughter Pranati is seeking re-election from Solapur City Central, while later former CM Shankarrao Chavan’s son Ashok, also a former CM, has entered the fray from Bhokar after his unsuccessful bid to enter Lok Sabha earlier this year. He also headed the state Congress earlier.
Another former Congress CM in the fray is Prithviraj Chavan. He is in the race for the Assembly from Karad South constituency. Former CM and Nationalist Congress Party founder-president Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit, himself a former deputy CM, is contesting the family seat of Baramati, while his grandson Rohit is contesting the Karjat Jamkhed seat in neighbouring Ahmednagar district.
While former Congress CM Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar’s son Ashok is a Congress candidate from Nilanga, his grandson and outgoing skill development minister Sambaji Patil-Nilangekar is contesting the Latur seat on a BJP ticket. Another former CM Narayan Rane’s son Nitesh is seeking reelection from Kankavli as a BJP candidate.