Children and other close younger relatives of political heavyweights of the two major parties – Congress and the BJP - in Uttarakhand are itching to plunge into the electoral battle in the upcoming assembly polls.
Leading this trend are chief minister Harish Rawat’s two sons and daughter. But that’s causing heartburn among party faithful.
Former chief minister BC Khanduri’s daughter, Ritu, is eyeing the Karnaprayag constituency, while former minister Matbar Kandari is batting for a ticket for his nephew, Vinod, from Devprayag.
“We are workers and ready to serve the party in any capacity. I see nothing wrong in this,” said Kandari junior.
In the Congress families of the hill state, the quest for tickets for children is not new. In the run up to the 2012 assembly polls, top leaders including Rawat had sought tickets for their children.
Rawat’s daughter, Anupama wants to contest from Haridwar rural constituency next year. She has been active in the constituency for some time. She is among 22 women seeking tickets from 16 seats.
But Anupama has an uphill task in this constituency which elected a BJP nominee in the previous elections.
Besides, the 2012 runners-up Irshad Ali of the Congress is in no mood to let go off a turf he had nursed for five years.
“The CM has told me I shouldn’t claim a ticket this time,” he said. The miffed politician refused to become vice-chairman of the weaver commission which is equivalent to a ministerial position when it was offered to him.
One of Rawat’s son, Virendra, has set his eyes on two constituencies — Khatima and Didihat — which are currently with the BJP.
Second son Anand, a former state unit president of the Youth Congress, has yet to choose his battleground but has been active in two assembly segments — Kedarnath and Mussoorie.
“As a Congress worker I wish to contest. It depends on the party leadership whether they consider me or not,” he said on Tuesday.
The Rawat family’s push has not gone down well with the Congress rank and file with sate unit president Kishore Upadhyay issuing a reminder that the party favours a “one family, one ticket” policy.