They say that in politics, blood runs thicker than water. But when ambitions are at stake, filial ties often go for a toss. This is evident in the Assembly poll battle in Nagpur, where a kin vs kin tussle is about to be played out.
On Saturday, the last day of filing nominations, the BJP announced the candidature Ashish Deshmukh, the son of former Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee chief Ranjit Deshmukh, against his uncle and NCP leader Anil Deshmukh, who was minister for civil supplies in the outgoing Prithviraj Chavan government.
Ashish, a former youth Congress leader, has been with the BJP since 2009 and sought nomination from Saoner, a constituency once represented by his father. In the previous state polls, he lost the seat Sunil Kedar of the Congress by a narrow margin.
In another dramatic development, senior Congress leader and cabinet minister Sanjay Deotale joined the BJP after being denied a party ticket. He will now contest from Warora in Chandrapur, against sister-in-law Ashawari Deotale, the Congress candidate.
Not just relatives, even friends and close associates will turn competitors. A high-profile battle will play out in the Kamptee assembly seat, where sitting BJP MLA Chandrashekhar Bawankule will face off against ‘business’ partner Rajendra Mulak of the Congress. Mulak had been keen on a ticket from Nagpur (West), which is dominated by the Kunbi-Maratha community. However, former city mayor Vikas Thakre, an aide of former MP Vilas Muttemwar, got the party ticket from there.
Former Union minister Subodh Mohite, once a Sena leader who is now with the Congress, will take on Sena’s Ashish Jaiswal, once his mentee, from the Ramtek seat.