Ex-CMs' son, daughter in poll fray

Ex-CMs' son, daughter in poll fray

Rajendrasinh Shekhawat greets supporters after filing the nomination for the Amravati seat on Friday. PTI/AFP

After withholding their names for two days to avoid adverse media coverage, the Congress quietly gave tickets to offsprings of two former Maharashtra chief ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde for the next month’s elections.
Amit Deshmukh will contest from his father’s bastion Latur (rural) while Praniti Shinde will contest from her father’s constituency Solapur.

Amit looks after the family business and managed his father’s election campaign in April-May 2009 LS polls. Deshmukh, while moving to the Centre, also succeeded in making his brother Dilip Deshmukh a member of the state legislative council and a minister for sports. Former Union Home minister Shivraj Patil’s daughter-in-law Archana has also sought ticket to contest from Latur (City) constituency.

Congress did not announce names of the kin of the heavyweights till Thursday night. However, they were asked to file nomination papers on Friday, party sources here said.
Meanwhile, Rajendrasinh Shekhawat, the son of the President of India Pratibha Patil, filed his nomination papers from Amravati on Friday, the last day of filing nominations.
The offices of the returning officers as well as political parties were crowded throughout the day across the state on the last day, which also witnessed a free-for-all rebellion by anybody who was denied ticket. The rebels included former ministers, sitting MLAs, veteran leaders and disgruntled activists.

Kalawati’s candidature
In another interesting development, Kalawati Bandurkar, who shot to fame after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s speech during last year’s trust vote, filed her nomination papers from Wani in Yawatmal district. She is contesting as Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti candidate.

Kalawati was rushed to a hospital early on Friday following hypertension, according to VJAS sources. “She had gone to meet her daughter in a nearby village, but complained of giddiness, vomiting and other problems. A medico, who examined her, said she was suffering from hypertension and asked her to be admitted to a hospital,” VJAS office-bearer Vinod Tiwari said from Nagpur. She was rushed to Yavatmal district hospital after midnight. Though, her condition has been described as “serious” by the doctors, she is stable and under observation, he said.

A tribute
“We have decided that this time, a Vidarbha farmer’s widow must be elected to the assembly. It will be our way of tribute to the memory of over 7,000 debt-ridden farmers who committed suicide in the region. In September alone, 10 farmers killed themselves in Yavatmal district where over 1,600 people have died so far,” the VJAS President Kishore Tiwari said.

He reiterated that VJAS will make a serious attempt to “empower” the widows and orphans of Vidarbha. He added that if a widow is elected from there then she will be their face in the Assembly.

The Vidarbha region includes Yavatmal, Nagpur, Akola, Gondia, Gadchiroli, Wardha, Amravati, Buldana, Washim, Bhandara and Chandrapur districts. The Congress and Shiv Sena too have fielded their candidates from Wani.

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