Maharashtra assembly polls: Which Deshmukh brother will win better in Latur?
The Deshmukh brothers, Amit and Dhiraj, look to carry forward father Vilasrao's legacy, take on lightweights
While around Maharashtra the buzz is on whether the Congress will manage to retain its existing number of seats (27), the mood in Latur is quite upbeat. So much so that the question is not whether Amit and Dhiraj Deshmukh, sons of the late former chief minister Vilasrao, will win, but who among the two will win by a higher margin.
Two time MLA Amit is looking to defend his Latur City seat, while younger brother Dhiraj is taking his electoral bow from Latur Rural.
Party workers, however, are confident that the Congress will win both the assembly seats, besides neighbouring Ausa, where two-time MLA Basavraj Patil will be challenged by the chief minister's personal assistant Abhimanyu Pawar. The remaining seats in Latur – Ahmadpur, Udgir, Nilanga, and Loha – have no favourites.
Amit won the seat for the first time in 2009, defeating BSP's Kayyum Khan Mohammad Khan by 89,480 votes. In 2014, however, his margin almost halved. It's no surprise then that their filmstar brother Riteish is extensively campaigning for the two, and is proving to be a huge crowdpuller.
On Monday afternoon, Amit interacted with over 200 youngsters from the well-known Renukai Chemistry Classes, which has a huge base among students and parents alike. Since the late Vilasraoji's time, Latur has seen tremendous development across sectors, and we need to see more development thanks to Amit and Dhiraj, said Professor Shivraj Motegaonkar.
While the BJP has fielded 2014 runner-up Shailesh Lahoti again, the Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi's R Maniar will hope to make it a triangular contest. SA Garad, a local businessman said there is a lot of distress among farmers and small-scale businesses, with the existing government failing to provide them any relief.
Latur City has been a bastion of the Deshmukh family and there is no question of anyone defeating the Deshmukh brothers, said Garad.
Rather, people are discussing which of the two will win by a higher margin. Venket Zhulpe, a Latur city resident, said the people are happy with the development work done by the Deshmukh family and that it will be difficult to defeat the brothers. Distress among farmers is very high in rural parts and water scarcity is a serious issue. But the government has failed to address these crucial issues.
In Latur Rural, Dhiraj will compete with relative newbie Sachin Deshmukh from the Shiv Sena. Locals say that the farming community that dominates the area will hand a win for Dhiraj.
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