State Congress biggies who managed poll tickets for their children, said that the party did not favour them because of family connections but because of their ability to win.
Candidatures of Union Heavy Industries Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s 35-year-old son Amit (Latur urban) and Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s 28-year-old daughter Praniti (Solapur Central) were cleared around midnight on Thursday. They filed nominations on Friday.
“This talk of family politics is all rubbish,” said Deshmukh, speaking to Hindustan Times from Latur. “My son has better prospects because he has been working in Latur for the last ten years. People here want him to contest.”
Shinde, when contacted, said he was busy in a meeting. Chief Minister (CM) Ashok Chavan, who carried forward his father ex-CM Shankarrao Chavan’s legacy, said that the decision was taken in view of the youngsters’ elective merit.
President Pratibha Patil’s son Rajendra Shekhawat’s candidature from Amaravati started the debate over dynasty politics again because the party chose him over minister Sunil Deshmukh.
Mumbai Member of Parliament Eknath Gaikwad said his daughter and Dharavi’s sitting Member of Legislative Assembly, Varsha, has proved that she was worth the votes. “She did better than me. She won the best Parliamentarian award.”
Several influential leaders got their children and other relatives poll tickets. The party has also revived some families on the verge of political isolation by giving their second or third generation offspring tickets.
However, Dr Archana Patil, daughter in-law of ex-Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, did not get the party high command’s approval.
There were others who did not ask for tickets for their kin.
Industries Minister Narayan Rane or state Congress chief Manikrao Thakare did not insist on tickets for their sons.
Revenue Minister Patangrao Kadam also said that he did not want his son, Vishwajeet, to contest.