President Pratibha Patil's son Rajinder Shekhawat, who was given the Congress ticket for the Maharashtra Assembly polls raising eyebrows, today rejected allegations his mother played a role and said she has been "deliberately" dragged into his election foray.
"Judge me as an individual and not as the son of the President of India," Shekhawat(42) said, adding he will keep his father Devinsingh Shekhawat away from his poll campaign.
Shekhawat is being fielded from Amravati whose sitting MLA and state minister Sunil Deshmukh has raised a banner of revolt and threatened to contest as an Independent. Deshmukh has alleged that there was pressure from the President and her family on the Congress leadership.
"I plan to take this litmus test myself or you may say I want to cross the first hurdle of my political career all by myself," the only son of the President told PTI on his way to his constituency in North of Maharashtra in reply to a question whether he would be taking help of his father during electioneering.
Shekhawat rejected the notion that he was nominated to contest the polls because of his mother's influence.
"Just because my mother is a President, one can attach any motives. No one would like to see the work I have been doing in Amravati, he said, adding "My candidature has nothing to do with my mother. I am citizen of this country and I have every right to contest."
"I am an organising secretary of Congress Seva Dal. I tried for a ticket in 2004 but did not get," he said.
Shekhawat, a law graduate and a postgraduate in export management, said, "Now if I have got the seat this time, what is the fuss all about."