Party tickets: It’s all in the family | india | Hindustan Times
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Party tickets: It’s all in the family

From the Congress, Shankersinh Vaghela’s son Mahendra is the candidate in Meghraj, while Siddharth Patel is carrying on the tradition for his father, the Late Chimanbhai Patel, reports Rathin Das.

india Updated: Dec 02, 2007 01:20 IST
Rathin Das

In election season, the son is rising in the west. And leading the pack of democracy’s dynastic aspirants in Gujarat are scions of former chief ministers and party presidents.

From the Congress, Shankersinh Vaghela’s son Mahendra is the candidate in Meghraj, while Siddharth Patel is carrying on the tradition for his father, the Late Chimanbhai Patel. He is contesting from Dabhoi.

Sons of former presidents of the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, too, are in the fray: Mukesh, son of BK Gadhvi from Danta and Chetan, son of Prabodh Rawal from Khadia.

The four Congress candidates are, however, not fighting from their fathers’ constituencies.

An exception is Keshubhai Patel’s son Bharat who refused a BJP ticket from his father’s traditional constituency because the move was being seen as an appeasement of the dissident former chief minister.

Dissident BJP MP Somabhai Patel’s son Jagdish has been given a Congress ticket from Viramgam of Ahmedabad district.

Keeping the sons company are some grandsons. Former chief minister Chhabildas Mehta’s grandson is contesting from Mahuva, the traditional seat in Saurashtra’s Bhavnagar district.

GPCC spokesman Hasmukh Patel said the move is intended to give more representation to the young generation. If a legislator for five or seven terms is too old, explained Hasmukhbhai, it is better to replace him with a person who can carry forward his and the party’s reputation. But, he added, the senior’s reputation is not the only criterion as the young nominee’s winning chance also has to be considered while allotting the ticket.

The dynastic trend is not limited to state elections. Sons of two former chief ministers — Madhavsinh Solanki and late Amarsinh Chaudhary — have been elected to the Lok Sabha on Congress tickets in 2004. Solanki’s son Bharat is also the present GPCC president. Bharat’s maternal cousin, Amit Chavda is contesting from the family’s traditional seat Borsad in Anand district.

Although the Congress is generally associated with dynastic politics, in Gujarat, the BJP and JD(U) are giving it competition.

Pravinsinh, the son of BJP minister Prabhatsinh Chauhan, has been given a party ticket from Kalol. And in the tribal area, JD(U) state chief Chhotubhai Vasava’s son Mahesh is seeking re-election from the Dediapara (ST) seat in Narmada district.

But it’s not just sons who inherit the legacy. Former minister Sanat Mehta’s daughter Purnima, too, is contesting for the Congress from the Raopura seat in Vadodara city.