Rift is Part of Maharashtra's Dynastic Politics; Latest to Join Fray are Sunil Tatkare & His Nephew Avdhut

Mumbai: Soon after senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Sunil Tatkare’s nephew Avdhut joined the Shiv Sena on Monday, reports of a rift within the family started doing the rounds.

Avdhut met Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray at Matoshree, the residence of the Trackeray family, where the latter tied a ‘Shiv bandhan’ (loyalty thread) on the Tarkare junior’s wrist.

While dynastic politics is not new to Maharashtra, neither is political rivalry within such families, including that of the Thackerays (Raj Thackeray broke out of the family to form the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena).

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has witnessed such a rift former deputy chief minister Gopinath Munde was challenged by his own nephew Dhananjay Munde. Dhananjay currently holds the position of leader of Opposition in the state, while Gopinath’s daughter Pankaja is a minister in the current BJP-Sena government.

Though the Pawar family has apparently intact till date with Sharad Pawar as the unopposed head, his politically strong nephew Ajit Pawar’s prospects seemed to have been hurt after the senior Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule entered the political arena. Buzz is that Rohit Pawar, who is a grand-nephew of Sharad Pawar, may also pose a tough challenge to Ajit Pawar in future.

Chagan Bhujbal, another NCP leader is also reportedly facing trouble providing equal opportunities to his son Pankaj and nephew Samir. Insiders say Samir is responsible behind the recent 'troubles' Chagan Bhujbal is going through these days.

Another rift that made news is between senior NCP functionary Anil Deshmukh and his nephew Ashish Deshmukh. Ashish is the elder son of former Maharashtra Pradesh Congress chief Ranjeet Deshmukh. In 2009, he joined the BJP in the presence of the then Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and defeated his uncle Anil Deshmukh in the 2014 Assembly elections.

The politically power Mohite-Patil family in Solapur is also facing a tough situation after NCP stalwart and a close associate of Sharad Pawar Vijaysinh Mohite-Patil switched to the BJP after his son Ranjitsinh was nominated a Lok Sabha candidate by the saffron camp. His nephew Dhavalsinh Mohite Patil, a known opponent of his cousin, has joined the Sena.

Former minister and NCP leader Manohar Naik too has an adversary is his nephew Neel Naik who is a BJP MLA.

While nobody talks openly about any breach within the family, almost everybody has exhibited traits of political opportunism. Some of them have actually won political points by challenging a family member. Soon after, many of them have even reunited with the family. However, there are some who have permanently broke ties with their extended families.

(With inputs from Sagar Kulkarni)