As the election season in Maharashtra hots up, two brothers are fighting it out to take forward the legacy of their seasoned politician father, one through the Congress and the other through BJP.
“It is quite challenging,” says Amol Deshmukh, the elder son of two-time former Maharashtra Congress state president Ranjit Deshmukh.
Amol, a doctor by profession, is eyeing a Congress ticket from the Ramtek constituency.
His younger brother Ashish Deshmukh, a strong supporter of separate Vidarbha, is looking at fighting the Saoner Assembly seat from the BJP, the party he had joined in 2009.
“You need a high level of understanding. In the end, you are brothers but with different ideologies if I may say,” said Amol.
The young doctor, who has specialised in health care management, besides having experiences in carrying out health projects in Third World countries, said he can’t match BJP’s philosophy. Amol said he is put off by the polarisation that the BJP and the RSS have done.
“My friends who never spoke about caste are now talking about it and how he (Prime Minister Narendra Modi) can control them (Muslims). Congress has been paying a huge price to ensure that we all, as a country, go ahead together. Unfortunately in this country, secularism has become a cheap word,” he said, adding the BJP and the RSS is behind this.
Asked what will be his focus if he did fight the election and win, he said, “I will put in my experience gained from working in London, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Vietnam and Tajikistan, to improve health facilities in my constituency”.
Talking about dynastic politics, Amol, who has studied at the prestigious London School of Economics and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) for his post-graduation, said, “I have not asked for a chance from people in my area based on my name. I have always said if you have a better choice, please go ahead”.
He said that he has a legacy to carry forward.
“When the country wanted a freedom fighter, my family gave two – my great grandfathers. When the country needed a social worker, my grandfather was there. Then of course there is my father who spearheaded the development work in our region,” Amol said.