Maharashtra: Close relatives contest against each other

Pankaja Gopinath Munde of BJP and Dhananjay Munde of NCP. (DH Photo)

They may be part of the same families but in politically-divergent parties. 

Political ambitions have split them and now in a dozen places, close relatives are contesting against each other in the ensuing Maharashtra Legislative Assembly polls.

The prominent among them are the Munde cousins who are fighting it out in the Parli seat of Beed district in Marathwada region. Sitting MLA and state's rural development minister and BJP leader Pankaja Munde is taking on Dhananjay Munde of NCP,  who is the leader of opposition in Council. Pankaja is a daughter of late Gopinath Munde while Dhananjay is his nephew. In 2014, Dhananjay lost to Panjaka, still decided to challenge her in her home turf. Its a war over who controls the legacy of late Munde.

In the neighbourhood Beed constituency, its an uncle vs nephew contest. The NCP has fielded Sandeep Kshirsagar against his uncle and state's employment guarantee minister Jaydutt Kshirsagar,  who has quit NCP to join Shiv Sena and become a minister. 

In yet another fight in Beed's Gevrai constituency, its a contest between the Pandit family. This seat had been represented by Shivajirao Pandit for decades and later on his cousin Badamrao. In 2014,  Laxman Pawar of BJP defeated Badamrao, then with NCP. He later joined Shiv Sena.  While this time BJP renominated Pawar, the NCP has given a ticket to Badamrao's nephew Amarsinh. Badamrao has entered the contest as an Independent.  

The Nilanga seat of Latur district is witnessing a fight of a top political family. Former chief minister Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar's on Ashok has been nominated by Congress in the Nilanga seat. The BJP has pitted his nephew Sambajirao Patil Nilangekar. Sambajirao's late father Dilip and Ashok were brothers. 

A royal family is fighting in Aheri in the Naxalite-infested Gadchiroli district.  Its a contest between Dharmaraobaba Atram of NCP and his nephew Amberishrao Atram of BJP, who is a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis-led government.

In Yavatmal district's Pusad seat, there is a fight within the Naik family. The seat has given two chief ministers - late Vasantrao Naik and his nephew late Sudhakarrao Naik. Vasantrao's grandson Indranil,  who is the son of ex-MLA and minister Manohar Naik is contesting against Nilay Naik of BJP.

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