Maharashtra will have its own "Amethi" and "Rae Bareli" in these Lok Sabha elections. This is because Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar [Images] has now moved to the newly created Madha constituency in the state leaving his pocketborough of Baramati to daughter Supriya Sule, currently a member of the Rajya Sabha.
The act was akin to that of Congress president Sonia Gandhi [Images], who during the 2004 elections moved to Rae Bareli
constituency in Uttar Pradesh [Images] from Amethi to facilitate her son Rahul Gandhi [Images] to contest from there.
Amethi and Rae Bareli have remained the strongholds of the Gandhi-Nehru family in their home turf of Uttar Pradesh
and have been represented by Rajiv Gandhi [Images], Sanjay Gandhi and Indira Gandhi [Images]. Incidentally, Congress has steered away from questions whether there are any plans to field Priyanka Gandhi [Images] from Sultanpur, a constituency adjoining Amethi and Rae Bareli.
Pawar has been representing Baramati Assembly or Baramati Lok Sabha seat for the past 40 years.
The Baramati Assembly seat is currently represented by his nephew Ajit Pawar, who is a senior Maharashtra Minister and NCP leader. Madha falls in the adjoining Solapur district while Baramati is in Pune district.
Solapur is the home turf of Union Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, who is expected to be the Congress candidate from the
city, which has now become a reserved constituency.
Like Sonia, her sister-in-law Maneka Gandhi of the Bharatiya Janata Party [Images] has moved from her stronghold of Pilibhit to neighbouring Aaonla leaving her seat for son Varun, who will be attempting his maiden entry to the Lok Sabha from there.
In Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav [Images] and his son Akhilesh would also be in the fray this time. While Yadav will be the candidate from his pocketborough of Mainpuri, his son will be contesting from Ferozabad as also Kannauj. Akhilesh has been representing Kannauj for the last two terms.
Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, who has tied up with the BJP this time, will be the candidate from Baghpat, a constituency held by the family for long. His father and late Prime Minister Charan Singh had represented it earlier. Ajit's son Jayant is expected to be the party candidate from nearby Mathura.