Congress leader Margaret Alva may be upset over her son losing out on a nomination in the Karnataka elections, but awarding tickets to kith and kin is more a rule than an exception in both the Congress and BJP.
Sometimes, the “benefit” is even extended to those closer than family. Consider the Rajya Sabha ticket given to Kusum Rai, associate of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, after a heated debate in the BJP’s central election panel late Thursday. Singh refused to agree to any other name, not even his son’s , and the BJP brass — particularly L.K. Advani — didn’t want to antagonise him before the Lok Sabha polls. Rai, whose association with Singh sparked a factional war in the state BJP unit and led to his parting from the party for a while, made it at the cost of several veterans, including Kesrinath Tripati and Lalji Tandon.
For the coming assembly elections, relatives of many Congress as well as BJP leaders have been given tickets. The Congress list in Madhya Pradesh includes Union minister Arjun Singh’s son Ajay, Jamuna Devi’s nephew Umang Singar and Kanti Lal Bhuria’s niece Kalayati.
In Chhattisgarh, former chief minister Ajit Jogi’s wife Renu is in the oll fray. His brother-in-law, Ratnesh Solomon, is a Congress candidate in MP. AICC treasurer Motilal Vora’s son Arun, Arvind Netam’s daughter Preeti and the late S.C. Shukla’s son Amitesh are all in the race.
Party nominees from Rajasthan include Shish Ram Ola’s son Vijendra, Paras Ram Maderna’s son Mahipal, Banwari Lal Sharma’s son Ashok and Ram Niwas Mirdha’s son Harendra.
In MP, more than 11 BJP candidates are related to senior leaders — Vikram Verma’s wife Neena, Kailash Joshi’s son Deepak, Sunderlal Patwa’s son Surendra, Faggan Singh Kulaste’s son Ram Pyare, V.K Salecha’s son Om Prakash and Govind Narain Singh’s son Dhruv and A.B. Vajpayee’s nephew Anoop Mishra.