Dhiraj, the youngest of former CM Vilasrao Deshmukh’s three sons, is joining politics, and unlike other scions of big politicians who eye the Assembly or Lok Sabha elections, Dhiraj is starting off in local politics, as he gets ready to contest the Zilla Parishad, or district council polls from his hometown in Latur.
Dhiraj has sought party candidature from the Ekgurga seat of the Latur ZP and wants to represent the Congress party.
If he wins, Dhiraj will join his elder brother Amit Deshmukh, also an MLA from Latur city, in politics.
“The people of Latur requested me to contest the elections. They want me to work for them, and I felt I should stand with them. I decided to go for the electoral politics now,”he said.
Dhiraj has been active in the organisational set-up for the past three years — as Latur district president of the youth wing of the party — and wants follow in his father’s footsteps.
The late Vilasrao Deshmukh had started his political career as a sarpanch of the Babhulgaon village in Latur, and went on to become the chief minister of the state.
Following Dhiraj’s decision to join politics, only one of the three sons of the former CM — actor Ritiesh — is not in politics. The Congress, however, is yet to decide on his candidature as there are around 12 aspirants for the seat. All of them, however, have agreed to support Dhiraj’s candidature.
Dynasties in Indian politics are common, and the people support the rule of political families. Shiv Sena MLA Sada Sarvankar is making efforts for his son, Samadhan Sarvankar, to get the party’s candidature from Dadar, his own constituency.
Congress MLA Kalidas Kolambkar is also trying to launch his son Prathmesh’s political career from Naigaon. Kolambar has been representing the constituency since 1990.
Former MP Eknath Gaikwad wants the political career of his son, Tushar, to be launched during these polls and is lobbying for a ticket. His daughter Varsha is already an MLA from Dharavi.
State BJP chief Raosaheb Danve is trying to get a candidature for his brother, Bhaskar Danve, for the ZP elections from Jalna; state housing minister Prakash Mehta wants his son Harsh to contest from Ghatkopar; BJP legislator Raj Purohit is vying party candidature for son Aakash from Colaba.
Similarly, the BJP MP Kirit Somaiya also wants his son Neil to contest the BMC elections from Mulund and has sought ticket from the party.
State water supply and sanitation minister Babanrao Lonikar too is making efforts to get candidature for his son Rahul for ZP polls from Parbhani. The list goes on.
However, state labour minister Sambhaji Nilengekar Patil, is an exception, as he rejected party workers’ request to nominate his brother, Arvind Patil, as a candidate for the ZP elections in Latur.
Nilangekar, who had contested on a BJP ticket against his grandfather and former CM Shivaji Patil Nilangekar, took the decision inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is against dynasty politics.
“My brother is also is a devout party worker, but instead of getting him the candidature, I decided to promote a party worker from a non-political background.”