Sons, daughters pack Congress candidates' list in Maharashtra

Sons, daughters pack Congress candidates' list in Maharashtra

Sons, daughters pack Congress candidates' list in Maharashtra

President Pratibha Patil’s son Rajendra Shekhawat has been officially nominated by the Congress from the Amravati constituency in Vidarbha for the forthcoming Maharashtra Assembly poll, but the party withheld the announcement of nominations of the kin of other powerful and influential leaders within the party as a matter of caution on Wednesday.

Rajendra’s nomination could be the most controversial on the list. His nomination was cleared by Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday, along with 158 others, just two days before the close of filing of nominations on September 25.

Shekhawat’s nomination has angered Amravati MLA Sunil Deshmukh, who also happens to be the minister of state for finance and the district guardian minister. He has now turned rebel and will contest against Shekhawat. “I am disappointed with the Congress leadership. I thought good sense would prevail. It appears there was a lot of pressure from Rashtrapati Bhavan,” he said after the announcement. Deshmukh has been the Amravati MLA for 10 years now. He has been credited with a lot of work in the constituency. The nomination of Shekhawat has now dragged Rashtrapati Bhavan into an unseemly controversy, which it will find difficult to handle.

Shekhawat is not the only political offspring whose name is being considered for a ticket. Union heavy industries minister Vilasarao Deshmukh is seeking the Latur seat for his son Amit while Union power minister Sushilkumar Shinde is leaving no stone unturned for his daughter Praniti for the Solapur constituency.

Sena-rebel-turned-Congressman Narayan Rane has already got his eldest son elected an MP from the Rajapur-Sindhudurga constituency. Now, he is trying an Assembly seat for his second son. Cooperation minister Patangrao Kadam, too, is trying to get a Congress ticket for his son. The names of these offspring, however, were not on the first list of the Congress.

In the case of BJP, national general secretary Gopinath Munde’s daughter Pankaja has got a nomination from Beed, while his niece, slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan’s daughter Poonam, will contest from Ghatkopar (West) in Mumbai.

Poonam just a matriculate

Poonam Mahajan, daughter of slain BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, has only studied up to 10th standard, reports DHNS from Mumbai. Poonam stated this in her nomination papers, filed from the Ghatkopar (West) constituency on Wednesday.

Poonam has shown having property—moveable and immovable—worth Rs 12 crore. Poonam changed her name to Poonam Rao after marriage. But she uses her maternal name Mahajan. Poonam is the niece of BJP leader Gopinath Munde.