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LS polls 2024: Two descendants of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in fray in Maharashtra

In Satara, the BJP has fielded Rajya Sabha member Udayanraje Bhosale, who is the 13th descendent of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and he would be taking on Shashikant Shinde of Sharad Pawar-led NCP (SP). Shinde (66) is a two time NCP MLA from Karegaon and currently a NCP (SP) MLC.
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 08:00 IST
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 08:00 IST

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Satara/Kolhapur: Two descendants of legendary Maratha warrior Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj have thrown their hat into the ring in the ongoing 2024 Lok Sabha elections, and both the high-stake contests are expected to become more interesting in the days to come.

The two royal seats of Satara and Kolhapur are revered in Maharashtra, and have their own importance in the history, culture and social reforms in the state.

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (19 February 1630–3 April 1680) was coronated in Raigad Fort on June 6, 1674, and it is from here he laid the foundation of ‘Hindavi-Swarajya’ of self-rule of the Hindu-people. The year 2023-24 marks the 350th anniversary of this landmark in the Indian sub-continent.

In Satara, the BJP has fielded Rajya Sabha member Udayanraje Bhosale, who is the 13th descendent of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and he would be taking on Shashikant Shinde of Sharad Pawar-led NCP (SP). Shinde (66) is a two time NCP MLA from Karegaon and currently a NCP (SP) MLC.

Udayanraje (58) had won the Satara seat in 2009, 2014 and 2019 for the NCP. However, he resigned to join the BJP, but was defeated by Dr Shriniwas Patil, a friend of Pawar in the bye-elections in 2019. He is currently a BJP Rajya Sabha member.

From Kolhapur, the Congress has nominated Shrimant Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj, the 12th descendent of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and great-grandson of Rajarshi Chhatrapati Shahu of Kolhapur, the legendary democrat and social reformer and closely associated with Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, the chief architect of the Constitution of India.

Shrimant Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj (76) is highly respected across Maharashtra. Shahu Maharaj faces Sanjay Mandlik, the sitting MP of Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena. Mandlik is a Chairman of Sadashivrao Mandlik Kagal Taluka Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Ltd in Kolhapur.

Shahu Maharaj’s son Yuvraj Sambhajiraje Chhatrapati was a President-nominated Rajya Sabha member from June 13, 2016 to May 3, 2022, and later he floated Swarajya Sangathan and travelled extensively across the state. His younger son, Malojiraje Chhatrapati is a former Congress MLA.

"The contests are going to be interesting. While Shahu Maharaj of Kolhapur is contesting for Congress-Maha Vikas Aghadi and pitted against Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena, Udayan Maharaj of Satara is contesting for BJP-Maha Yuti and taking on Sharad Pawar-led NCP (SP). Both the Chhatrapatis are representing diametrically-opposite political formations. Their candidature assumes significance in the wake of the emerging political situation in India and the Maratha reservation issue," a political analyst said.

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Published 16 April 2024, 08:00 IST

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