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Old August 23rd, 2009, 01:08 AM
ashdoc ashdoc is offline
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SMS on presidents son creates flutter

MUMBAI: A line from the 1975 blockbuster Deewar is doing the rounds in Amravati as two Congress veterans slug it out for representing the Assembly constituency in the coming elections.

The Congress is yet to take a decision on nominating President Pratibha Patil's son, Rajendra Shekhawat, but the SMSes have caused a flutter in political circles. One of them reads: "Sunil Deshmukh: Mere paas Vilasrao Deshmukh hai, Amravati mein flyover hai, sports complex hai aur hospital hai , jo sab maine banwaya , maine Amravati ke vikas par panch saal mein 1,000 crore kharcha kiya.Tumhare paas kya hai ,kya hai tumhare paas ? ''

Its rejoinder starts with a line that has been made immortal in the Amitabh Bachchan-Sashi Kapoor exchange in Deewar: "Rajendra Shekhawat: Mere paas ma hain.''

TOI tried calling up Shekhawat, known as Raosaheb among close friends, but there was no response. And Sunil Deshmukh said he had read the SMS. "I am not its author. It should be taken sportingly,'' Amravati's guardian minister added.

Deshmukh was elected to the Assembly from Amravati in 1999 and 2004 by huge margins. But Shekhawat has now staked his claim from the same constituency for the October polls. "Given my performance, I am sure the high command will renominate me from Amravati. There is no doubt that I will retain the seat,'' Deshmukkh said.

Deshmukh, a doctor by profession, has been credited with the development of Amravati. "It's a matter of record. I was instrumental in construction of the flyover, sports complex, super speciality hospital and securing approval for the special economic zone, which will attract an investment of Rs 20,000 crore,'' Deshmukh said.

On the other hand, ever since Pratibha Patil was made the President over a year ago, Shekhawat has been concentrating on Amravati, with an eye on the polls. A few months ago, Shekhawat confirmed his desire to contest the assembly polls, provided the Congress high command agrees to the proposal. "Raosaheb is keen on active politics. If the high command approves his nomination, then he will contest the assembly polls,'' his close aide said.

There was no bar on the son or daughter of the President of India from contesting either the Lok sabha or assembly polls, Shekhawat's aide added. "Raosaheb's mother had represented Lok sabha and assembly; his father too was the member of the state legislative assembly from Amravati. There is nothing wrong if he seeks nomination for assembly polls,'' he said.

Last edited by ashdoc; August 23rd, 2009 at 01:14 AM.
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