Political dynasties seem here to stay despite recurrent criticism that they deny other eligible party workers an opportunity to grow. In this assembly election, more than a dozen seats went to son and daughters of influential politicians.
All political parties, but especially the ruling Congress and Nationalist Congress Party combine, fielded politicians’ relatives.
But voters are discriminating, choosing only those among these who are worthy, said Surendra Jondhale, a political analyst.
“I don’t think people vote blindly,” he said. “They want to see fresh, young faces, so most of these youngsters get a chance. Somebody like Praniti Shinde wins also because of the work she’s done in the constituency while Ganesh Naik’s son or Gopinath Munde’s daughter won because their parents nurture their constituencies so strongly.”
As expected, Amit Deshmukh (33), son of Vilasrao Deshmukh, former chief minister and union heavy industries minister, won his father’s Latur seat.
Praniti Shinde (29), daughter of Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, retained Solapur for the family.
The controversial Amravati seat in Vidarbha that hogged the limelight went to President Pratibha Patil’s son Rajendra
Shekhwat despite a tough fight put up by two-term legislator and minister of state Sunil Deshmukh.
The Congress had fielded a host of second-generation politicians, recommended by Rahul Gandhi, such as Prashant Thakur (Panvel), Nilesh Parvekar (Yavatmal), Sangram Thopte (Bhor), Rajiv Satav (Kalamnuri) and Yashomati Thakur (Teosa), all of who won by handsome margins.
Of the lot, Rajubaba Awale, son of state Congress executive president Jayawat Awale and Shekhar Shende (Wardha), son of deputy speaker of Assembly, Pramod Shende, lost.
The voters of Arvi in Wardha rejected a two-term generation-next Congressman Amar Kale (Arvi). They chose a BJP candidate over him.
In neighboring Deoli, Himachal Governor and ex-MPPC chief Prabha Rau’s nephew Ranjit Kamble scored a hat trick.
Negative voting cost NCP minister of state, Rana Jagjitsinh Patil, his Osmanabad seat to Omraje Nimbalkar because of his father Padamsinh Patil’s alleged involvement in Omraje Nimbalkar’s father’s murder.
In the NCP, Pankaj Bhujbal, son of deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, won his seat as did Sandeep Naik, son of environment minister Ganesh Naik.
Both father-son duos were elected and will be seen in the state assembly. From the BJP, senior leader Gopinath Munde’s daughter, Pankaja Munde-Palave, won from her hometown, Beed. Shiv Sena’s Abhjit Adsul, son of Amravati MP Anand Adsul won from Daryapur.
But Munde’s niece and daughter of BJP’s slain leader Pramod Mahajan, Poonam Mahajan-Rao, lost to an MNS dark horse in Ghakopar (West) in Mumbai.