Shivaji scion, stars to make Maharashtra polls exciting

In photo | Mukta Tilak (L), Aaditya Thackeray (C) and Ajaz Khan (R)

The presence of members of royal families, film stars and journalists have made the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly polls interesting. 

Shivendrasinh Raje Bhosale, a descendant of the family of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, who recently switched from the NCP to BJP has been given ticket from Satara and pitted against former party colleague Deepak Pawar. Shivendrasinh is a three-time MLA and his father Abhaysinh Raje Bhosale had represented the seat several times. Shivendrasinh's cousin Udayanraje Bhosale is contesting the Satara Lok Sabha bye-polls.

Pune mayor and BJP leader Mukta Tilak, the wife of Shailesh Tilak, the great grandson of revolutionary freedom fighter Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, will be contesting from Kasba Peth in Pune. She is taking on Congress candidate Aravind Shinde.

In Mumbai, journalist Yuvraj Mohite is contesting from the Goregaon seat on a Congress ticket. On 8 January, 1993, as young reporter, he overheard late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray allegedly giving orders to Shiv Sainiks to attack Muslims. He had deposed before Justice BN Srikrishna Commission that indicted Thackeray. He is contesting against BJP's Vidya Thakur, who is the Minister of State for Women and Child Development.

From Versova, the Congress has fielded former MLA Baldev Khosa. He was closely associated with late film stars and politician and in the 1960s and 1970s he had acted in Punjabi films. He is pitted against sitting BJP MLA Bharti Lavekar.

Marathi actress Deepali Sayyad, who had unsuccessfully contested Lok Sabha polls on an AAP ticket has joined Shiv Sena and had been nominated from Mumbra-Kalwa against NCP MLA and former minister Dr Jitendra Ahwad, a close aide of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar.  

Actor Ajaz Khan of Big Boss fame too is contesting the Byculla seat. He is taking on lawyer and sitting AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan. In the same seat, Geeta Gawli of Akhil Bharatiya Sena is contesting. She is daughter of jailed underworld don Arun Gawli, who is an ex-MLA. From Worli, Marathi Big Boss participant Abhijeet Bichukale is contesting against Shiv Sena scion Aditya Thackeray. Bichukale is also contesting the Satara Lok Sabha seat against Udayanraje.

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