Times have changed for once politically powerful Bundelas of Lalitpur in Bundelkhand region. In business, the family continues to do well but in politics not anymore. For the first time in decades, no Bundela would be in the electoral battlefield in Lalitpur this assembly polls.
Sujan Singh Bundela, the Rajput satrap, began the political journey in late seventies. The two-time MP retired from active politics in 2009. His son Chandra Bhushan Bundela aka ‘Guddu Raja’ has been with the SP for long but he lost the last two assembly polls in the state. His (Sujan Singh Bundela’s) brothers Pooran Singh Bundela and Virendra Singh Bundela became MLAs many times and served as ministers.
In a region where one experiences abject poverty existing side by side with extreme effluence, this family has complete control on mining of granites.
While three senior Bundelas lost their utility for being party hoppers, the new Samajwadi Party leadership denied ticket to Chandra Bhushan this time around.
He figured on the list of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav but was dropped after the change of guard in the party. Guddu Raja’s loss in the last assembly polls was attributed to his uncle Virendra Singh Bundela who on trying to gain political foothold one more time and ended up contesting against his own nephew.
“Each member of the family has deep political ambitions and they don’t shy away from taking on each other,” says Bharat Rawat, a political analyst from Lalitpur.
“Such a scenario could never have been imagined for the Bundelas. Once their mere support to a candidate meant victory,” claims a family friend.
“They compromised and competed so much with one another that they lost credence,” he asserts.
Sujan Singh Bundela, who was elected district panchayat chairman in 1980, quickly contested assembly elections on Congress ticket the same year and won. He was elected to Lok Sabha in 1984 but lost in 1989. In 1999, he was again elected to Lok Sabha but was not the Congress’s choice in 2004.
A hurt Sujan Singh left the party and fought 2009 LS polls on a Rashtriya Samanta Dal ticket but lost.
Sujan Singh Bundela
Two-time MP retired from active politics in 2009. However, he enjoys a good relationship with SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Pooran Singh Bundela
He first became an MLA in 1991 and then 1996 on Congress tickets. He joined the BJP and became a minister in 2002. He joined the BSP in 2007. He contested 2012 assembly polls on a Congress ticket but lost.
Virendra Singh Bundela
He plunged into politics in 2002 and won on a Congress ticket. He switched loyalty to the BSP and then hopped on to the SP. Last time, he contested again on a Congress ticket against his nephew Chandra Bhushan from Lalitpur.
Chandra Bhushan Bundela
Unlike his uncles and father, he has remained with the SP. He contested 2007 and 2012 assembly elections but lost. He’s been denied ticket this time around.