Other States

Satara’s warring royals come together in show of strength

Burying the hatchet: Cousins Udayanraje Bhosale and Shivendrasinh Bhosale on their way to file their nomination forms in Satara on Tuesday.

Burying the hatchet: Cousins Udayanraje Bhosale and Shivendrasinh Bhosale on their way to file their nomination forms in Satara on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: Shoeb Khan

Udayanraje, Shivendrasinh Bhosale file nominations for LS bypoll, Assembly elections

Warring royals, Udayanraje Bhosale and his cousin Shivendrasinh Bhosale, who both left the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), staged a massive show of strength together and filed their respective nominations in Satara on Tuesday.

Udayanaraje filed his nomination for the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll, while Shivendrasinh filed his for the Satara Assembly segment for elections to the State legislature. Both are descendants of Chhatrapati Shivaji.

The Lok Sabha bypoll has been necessitated by Udayanraje, one of only four elected NCP MPs in the recently concluded general election, resigning and joining the BJP.

Speaking after filing his nomination, he said, “I was in a terrible dilemma before taking the step to join the BJP… but now, those doubts have been resolved and I can think about addressing people’s issues with a free mind. I did not align myself with the BJP with any expectations of a position or office, and my objective is to complete works, especially water projects, which have been pending since 1996,” he said. The former MP said he has always practised “issue-based politics” and praised the State government for showing great political will in passing the Bill on the quota for the Maratha community.

An erstwhile NCP bastion with four party MLAs, Satara has seen a rapid change in equations with the defections of the two royals to the BJP, especially that of Udayanaraje. In the past, the cousins have gone through several quarrels, with vital issues like civic infrastructure, education and medical services being sacrificed at the altar of the seemingly eternal family feud. NCP chief Sharad Pawar had tried to reconcile the conflict several times, but the truce patched up was usually a fragile one.

When asked whether the cousins would campaign for each other, Shivendrasinh said there was no question of any rift between the two any more, as they both had a common objective of seeing the BJP victorious in Satara.

Earlier, Udayanraje had said he still had great respect for Mr. Pawar and would not file his nomination form if the NCP fielded the patriarch against him.

With senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan reluctant to contest the bypoll as the NCP-Congress candidate, the onus of taking on Udayanraje is likely to fall on senior NCP leader and former Sikkim governor Shriniwas Patil.

Mr. Patil, a former IAS officer, had contested and won the Lok Sabha elections twice, in 1999 and 2004, from the Karad Lok Sabha constituency in Satara district, before its delimitation for the 2009 polls.

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Printable version | Mar 24, 2020 6:15:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/sataras-warring-royals-come-together-in-show-of-strength/article29570526.ece

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