They ran their fathers’ election campaigns, organised their rallies, managed the back offices and nurtured their constituencies. The exposure and the training in politics and public life helped them learn the tricks of the trade. Ready, they now aspire to don the role of public representatives.
These Assembly elections may see a number of young guns - children of sitting and former Delhi legislators and parliamentarians - seeking wins in contests from seats either represented or nurtured by their fathers. Sources said both the Congress and the BJP have been getting requests from senior leaders to let their children contest in their place.
According to sources, West Delhi member of Parliament Mahabal Mishra, former Delhi Assembly Speaker Chaudhary Prem Singh, former MP Sajjan Kumar, party heavyweight Mukesh Sharma and Chandni Chowk member of legislative Assembly Prahlad Singh Sawhney are among those who approached the Congress leadership for tickets to their sons.
In the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Opposition leader Vijay Kumar Malhotra and Tilak Nagar MLA OP Babbar are two of those veteran leaders who want the party to let their sons contest the Assembly elections in their place. BJP leaders Madan Lal Khurana’s son Vimal and Sahib Singh Verma’s son Parvesh are also vying for tickets.
“Some of these leaders - Sajjan Kumar, Mahabal Mishra and Mukesh Sharma - have projected their sons as future leaders in political rallies in their areas. The new generation leaders are as active in politics as their well-known fathers. They have teams of their own,” a senior Congress leader said, requesting anonymity.
BJP sources said Malhotra, a veteran of several elections, now want to take a back seat and let his son “serve the constituency he has nurtured all these years”.
While Delhi Congress president Jai Prakash Aggarwal said no leader had so far approached him for a ticket for his son, Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel said: “We will look at the winning capacity of the aspirants while distributing tickets... Just being the family member will not do.”