Maharashtra’s political dynasties will still be in play even after the loss or demise of veterans across parties as relatives of several top leaders have managed to make the cut in the assembly polls for the first time or retain their sway over family bastions.
In Sindhudurg, Konkan strongman Narayan Rane’s humiliating defeat after more than two decades as MLA, that followed his elder son and former MP Nilesh’s rout in the Lok Sabha polls, was partially offset by his younger son Nitesh debuting as a MLA.
Similarly, after his elder son Sanjeev Naik lost in the Lok Sabha polls, Navi Mumbai heavyweight Ganesh Naik too lost his assembly seat.
However, his younger son Sandeep salvaged the lineage in the belt by retaining his seat. Mirroring this trend in the Konkan region, after NCP leader Sunil Tatkare’s defeat from the Raigad parliamentary seat in May by the slimmest margin in the state, his nephew Avdhut Tatkare managed to win Tatkare’s erstwhile assembly seat by a margin of 77 votes.
Congress’s Praniti Shinde managed to retain her assembly seat in Solapur despite the loss suffered by her father, former union minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in this year’s Lok Sabha polls.
After the death of BJP stalwart Gopinath Munde, his legacy in Marathwada will be carried forward by his two daughters. Munde’s younger daughter Pritam Munde won the Beed Lok Sabha by-poll election while Pankaja retained her Parli assembly seat in the same belt, defeating her cousin Dhananjay Munde of the NCP.
In former chief minister the late Vilasrao Deshmukh home turf of Latur, his son Amit Deshmukh managed to hold on to his seat for a second time.
Ajit Pawar, NCP’s most prominent face in the state and nephew of NCP leader Sharad Pawar, will continue to keep the party flag flying in Baramati in western Maharashtra — where his cousin Supriya Sule is the MP. In former CM Ashok Chavan’s Nanded constituency, the saving grace for Congress in the Lok Sabha polls, his wife Ameeta has managed to gain a foothold by winning an assembly seat in the region.
Despite nephew Sameer Bhujbal’s loss in the Lok Sabha polls early this year, both NCP’s former cabinet minister Chhagan Bhujbal and his son Pankaj Bhujbal secured huge wins from their respective seats in Nashik. The Bhonsales of Satara, heirs of Maratha king Shivaji, too managed to retain their stronghold over the Satara seat with NCP’s Abhaysinh Bhonsle ending up with a decent winning margin this time.
However, not all dynasts were as lucky. Former President Pratibha Patil’s son Raosaheb Shekhawat lost his Amravati seat to the BJP. The sons of Bihar Governor and Congress veteran D Y Patil also had to bite the dust as Satej, former minister of state from Congress, and his brother Ajinkya, who contested against Prithviraj Chavan on a Sena ticket, were both trounced.
State Congress chief Manikrao Thakare had to face embarrassment as his political heir Rahul ended up in the fourth place at Yavatmal. From the Sena camp, MP Gajanan Kirtikar’s son Amit fared poorly in the Kandivali East. Samajwadi Party had fielded Farhan Azmi, son of state party head Abu Azmi from Bhiwandi East but he finished third.
Major General S C N Jatar (retired) of advocacy group Nagrik Chetna Manch said, “In both Congress and NCP, dynastic politics is not waning, while in BJP it is cropping up gradually. Both Shiv Sena and MNS revolve around Thackeray brothers only.”