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Second generation rivalry in Osmanabad

The rivalry between their fathers met a bloody end. Now the second generation of the Patil and Nimbalkar families is all set to clash in the October 13 polls in Osmanabad, reports Satyajit Joshi.

mumbai Updated: Oct 11, 2009 00:58 IST
Satyajit Joshi

The rivalry between their fathers met a bloody end. Now the second generation of the Patil and Nimbalkar families is all set to clash in the October 13 polls in Osmanabad.

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Member of Parliament Padmasinh Patil is the prime accused in Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar’s murder. And as he battles Patil out in court, Nimbalkar’s son Omraje is all set to take on Patil’s son, Rana Jagjitsinh, on the political turf in Osmanabad, taking the rivalry to the next generation.

Omraje is contesting on a Shiv Sena ticket.

Osmanabad suffers from chronic water shortage. There are no industries and unemployment is a problem. But the sensational nature of the political fight here has overshadowed these issues.

Patil has been calling the shots in Osmanabad since 1978. Nimbalkar was his close associate before they parted ways and Nimbalkar contested against him in the 2004 Assembly polls.

Nimbalkar was killed in June 2006 and the Central Bureau of Investigation held Patil in custody for four months until he was released on bail last week and arrived in Osmanabad to a grand welcome.

He has stayed away from his son’s poll campaign but the ghosts of the murder case are haunting Rana’s campaign. And Omraje is hoping to cash in on the sympathy wave arising from his father’s murder.

“I was never interested in politics,” said the 26-year-old. “But the way they finished off my father forced me to join politics. I want to teach them that this kind of politics cannot have place in a democracy.”

Omraje brings up the case in his campaign rallies and Rana admitted this has created some problems for him.

“My opponents bring up some sentimental issues during campaigning. They have nothing to do with development,” said Rana. “This is misleading and I am facing some problems because of this.”

Rana brushed aside allegations that his family was terrorizing people. “My father is a person of high morality. He cannot tolerate injustice. His friends in politics created this image for political reasons,” said Rana.

The people of the constituency are too afraid to discuss politics. Such is the extent of the simmering rivalry between the two that the Election Commission has already declared Osmanabad as a sensitive constituency.