Over a quarter of Maharashtra’s 48 MPs, 13, are the children of or related to prominent politicians, some current and some of the previous generations. And all but two of these 13 MPs have been renominated as the major parties carry on the hereditary trend.
The Congress has not renominated Bhaskarrao Khatgaonkar Patil while Sameer Bhujbal makes way for his uncle Chhagan. Of those renominated, Sena MP Anand Paranjape is set to contest on an NCP ticket.
Of the state’s 12 MPs below the age of 50, 10 have fathers or uncles who have served as either MP or MLA. The NCP’s Udayanraje Bhosale does not have an immediate political link but is a descendant of warrior king Shivaji. That leaves Raju Shetti of the Swabhimaani Shetkari Sanghatna as the only under-50 MP without any political lineage.
Five of the eight NCP MPs are from political families. Apart from Chhagan Bhujbal’s nephew Sameer whose seat he is contesting, there are Supriya Sule whose father Sharad Pawar is a union minister, Sanjeev Naik whose father Ganesh is a state minister, and Sanjay Dina Patil and Praful Patel whose fathers were MLAs.
The Congress has six MPs with a political lineage in a list of 17. They include Sunil Dutt’s daughter Priya and Murli Deora’s son Milind. Mukul Wasnik’s father Balkrishna too was a MP, as was Pratik Patil’s father Prakash. Bhaskarrao Khatgaonkar Patil, the one not renominated, is the son-in-law of former CM Shankarrao Chavan while Nilesh Rane is Narayan Rane’s son.
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Two of the Shiv Sena’s 11 MPs are hereditary politicians. Bhawna Gawli is the daughter of former MP Pundalikrao and Anand Paranjape, who has gone to the NCP, is the son of former MP Prakash Paranjape.
None of the BJP’s nine MPs has a political lineage, making the party the only exception to this trend.
“The trend in Maharashtra of promoting one’s family started in the 1980s when Sharad Pawar got his nephew Ajit Pawar to contest a Lok Sabha seat. The culture seems to have been ingrained in the state since,” political analyst Prakash Akolkar said.