MCD election: In Chandni Chowk, sons fight for political legacy
Three principal parties have fielded sons of political veterans of the area. AAP, Congress and BJP candidates -- Bhikhu Ram Jain, Purandeep Sawhney and Ravinder Kumar Kuptaan -- are sons of senior politicians who have represented the area.MCD Elections 2017 Updated: Apr 17, 2017 10:19 IST
On the face of it, the municipal election in Chandni Chowk ward appears to be a regular triangular contest, but inside the Walled City, it is a fight for family legacy.
Three principal parties have fielded sons of political veterans of the area.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has nominated Naren Bhiku Ram Jain (62), son of Bhiku Ram Jain, who was Congress MP from Chandni Chowk seat in 1980-84. The Congress ticket has gone to Punardeep Singh Sawhney (35) whose father — Prahlad Singh Sawhney — won the Chandni Chowk assembly seat four times from 1988 to 2013. He was also elected to municipal council in 1983 from the Mori Gate municipal ward. Punardeep’s maternal uncle — Harcharan Singh Josh was also a metropolitan councillor for two terms (1983-93) from Arya Nagar.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had fielded Ravinder Kumar Kuptaan (55). His father Vasudev Kuptaan was MLA from Chandni Chowk assembly seat in 1993 when Madan Lal Khurana became the chief minister of Delhi. His grandfather had moved to Delhi from Haryana to Delhi and set up a jewellery making business. Vasudev had won the municipal councillor (a post equalling an MLA) election in 1983 from Chandni Chowk.
Naren Bhiku Ram Jain
Naren Bhiku Ram Jain is a known face in Delhi’s political circle, coming from an influential family of old Delhi. He had worked closely with former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit. Apart from running his family business, he is into social work and also runs an NGO for the visually impaired.
Naren is an art enthusiast and owns an art gallery. His grandfather, a resident of village Garhi Harsaru in Haryana, had settled in Pahari Dhiraj around 120 years ago. Now, he lives in Civil Lines on a road named after his father. Before joining AAP, he had been associated Anna Hazare’s Jan Lok Pal movement.
“When Anna Hazare came to Delhi, he called me to support his movement and to organise traders of Purani Dilli in 2009. I liked the idea and joined his campaign. That’s how my political journey began. Before this, I was working for the welfare of my community,” said Naren.
Ravinder Kumar Kuptaan
Ravinder’s ancestral home is still in Riwari (Haryana) and his grandfather — Jawaharlal was head of the mohalla samiti. His father has been an active member of Bharatiya Jan Sangh and BJP. Following in footsteps of his father, Ravinder jumped into politics at a very young age and was appointed as secretary of the youth wing of the state unit of BJP, a post that he had until 1993. He operates his jewellery business from Dariba Kalan, a locality known for jewels and silver ornaments in Chandni Chowk.
“Politics was in our family. It was not new to me. My grandfather was also a respected figure in his village. After migration from Haryana, my family came to the Walled City around 100 years ago and bought a house in Naya Bazaar and has been there since then. I started as a party worker and took a break when my father became a member of Delhi assembly to look after my family business,” he said.
Purandeep Singh Sahwney
Purandeep’s grandfather Jai Singh belonged to the undivided Gujarat (which is now part of Pakistan). After partition, he came to the city in the search of livelihood. The family stayed in a house in Chabi Ganj of Mori Gate area. His grandfather continued his transport business here which his father Prahlad took over later. Jai Singh Marg, a lane in old Delhi is named after his grandfather. Besides his father and maternal Uncle Josh, he learnt subtleties of politics from senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal.
“I have been actively working for Kapil Sibal since 2004 and Latika Dikshit (daughter of former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit). My area of expertise has been education hence I am associated with NGOs working to improve the quality of education in municipal schools in the Walled city area. I joined politics not because of my father. He had not recommended my name for the municipal election’s candidature,” he said.