Prathamesh Kolambkar, 24, is busy canvasing for votes in Parel under the watchful eye of his father Kalidas Kolambkar, a five-time legislator. "A vote for Prathamesh is a vote for me," Kolambkar said to the voters. His son is pitted against Sudhir Jadhav, husband of corporator Snehal Jadhav.
Considering the penchant for political dynasties, it is not surprising that five legislators - Kolambkar, Rajhans Singh, Ramesh Singh Thakur, Madhu Chavan and Vinod Ghosalkar - have secured nominations for their sons in the Mumbai civic polls. Now, these fathers are busy devoting their time and energy to lead their sons to victory.
While Kolambkar accompanies his son on door-to-door campaigns, Singh takes part in all street-level meetings. Thakur, whose son Sagar is making an electoral debut at Kandivli, makes it a point to do a post-mortem of the campaign at the end of every day, while Ghosalkar keeps tabs on his son's schedule. All legislators hold informal meetings after the day's campaign to gather support for their sons.
Sons admit that their father make a big difference. "I have the advantage that people know me due to my dad," said Singh's son Nitesh. "My dad's name works wonders," admitted Prathamesh Kolambkar.
The legislators claim their sons have been selected on merit. "I did not want my son to enter politics, but he is fond of social work," said Kolambkar. Shiv Sena legislator Ghosalkar said: "Party workers felt only my son could wrest the seat from Congress from Dahisar."
Congress' Rajhans Singh tells his supporters in Kurla: "I have represented this ward twice and now my son is stepping into my shoes." "It is part of the legacy to protect their interests," said Venkatesh Kumar, professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences. Political commentator Nilu Damle said: "The civic body is a good stepping stone for their political career. These children have grown in a political environment and are at advantage."