The sons will put the legacy of the fathers to test in the Tehri parliamentary byelection in Uttarakhand. Vijay Bahuguna, from the Congress, will take on the BJP's Manujendra Shah in the February 21 election.
Vijay, who had unsuccessfully contested the seat twice, is the son of late Hemvati Nandan Bahujana, the former Union Minister and chief minister of Uttar Pradesh who had dominated the politics of the hilly region before his death in 1989. Manujendra is the son of the Manvendra Shah, the maharaja of Tehri who had represented the seat eight times and whose recent death necessitated the by-election.
The BJP is banking on a sympathy wave for Manujendra, the new Bulanda Badri (reincarnation of Vishnu) to ward off the challenge from the Congress nominee. Vijay had lost the 1999 and 2004 Lok Sabha polls to Manvendra by 12000 votes and 9000 votes respectively. At that time, he also faced rebellion from within the Congress ranks.
Tehri is considered a bastion of the Shah family which is also the custodian of the Badrinath temple which won this seat from 1952 to 1967. But after being defeated in 1971, Manvendra lay low, surfacing only to contest in 1991. Since then, he was elected repeatedly.
Email Saroj Nagi: snagi @hindustantimes.com