BJP and Congress leaders look to launch their children in Rajasthan assembly polls
Around 15 leaders from both BJP and Congress have publicly sought tickets for their children for the Rajasthan assembly elections on December 7.Updated: Nov 02, 2018 10:12 IST
In poll-bound Rajasthan, leaders from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition Congress are lobbying for tickets for their children in a bid to pass their political legacy to the next generation.
Around 15 leaders from both parties have publicly sought tickets for their children for the December 7 assembly elections. Prominent among them are state labour minister Jaswant Yadav, tribal area development minister Nandlal Meena, senior Congress leader Narayan Singh and his party colleague Pradhyuman Singh.
Yadav is seeking a ticket for his son Mohit from Behror and announced during a public meeting in the constituency on October 14 that Mohit would fight from the area.
“My son, Mohit, is more talented, qualified and winnable than me. He managed the entire Lok Sabha bypolls. He is active in politics since 2009. Recently he took out a bike rally of 10,000 youth when CM Vasundhara Raje visited the district.”
He said people who criticised dynastic politics are weak. “Opportunity should be given who is winnable and talented.”
Meena, 75, is seeking a ticket for his son Hemant, the district BJP general secretary, from Pratpagarh. The minister has said it’s time for the new generation to take over.
Panchayati raj and rural development minister Rajendra Rathore is seeking a ticket for his son Parakram from Taranagar. Former deputy speaker of the assembly, Rao Rajendra Singh, is seeking a ticket for his son Devayush Singh from Shahpura.
BJP MLA Narpat Singh Rajvi is batting for his son Abhimanyu, who has claimed the legacy of his grandfather and party patriarch Bhairon Singh Shekhawat. Abhimanyu says he would not like to contest from Vidyadhar Nagar which is his father’s constituency. He prefers Bikaner (East). “My family has stood by the BJP when other Rajputs are leaving the party. We deserve two tickets,” he said.
Ladhuram Bishnoi, who was parliamentary secretary, is seeking a ticket for his son KK Bishnoi from Gudamalani.
Across the political divide, the demand is similar. Senior Congress leaders Narayan Singh and Pradhyuman Singh have told the party that they want to retire and pass the baton to their children.
“I am now 85 years old, I have been a sarpanch, pradhan, pramukh and an MLA seven times. Now it’s time for the next generation. I have conveyed my decision to state party president Sachin Pilot and ex-CM Ashok Gehlot, and have urged to consider my son Virendra Singh,” said Singh, a tall Jat leader.
Pradhyuman Singh said, “I am 81, age and health is the consideration. My son Rohit is working in the constituency for the last 10 years. The workers are happy with him. I have contested 10 elections and lost two of them.”
He continued, “I have spoken to Pilot and Gehlot, and even to (Congress chief) Rahul Gandhi during his visit to Dholpur and urged to consider Rohit.”
Both parties have remained tight-lipped on whether tickets will be given to the newcomers. BJP spokesperson Mukesh Pareek said, “In the BJP, ticket will only be given to workers, who are dedicated, committed and winnable. Our party is a family and does not believe in dynastic politics.”
State Congress spokesperson Archana Sharma said, “If they have the potential, then it is for the party to decide on their candidature. In politics, leaders are elected by the people.”
In the February Ajmer Lok Sabha bypolls, the BJP had fielded Kailash Lamba, son of late local MP Sanwar Lal Jat, hoping to ride on a sympathy wave. Lamba, however, lost to Raghu Sharma of the Congress by 84,000 votes.
Political commentator Narayan Bareth said dynastic politics is not new to the state but has not proved very successful. “Children of political leaders grow up in a different environment. They are more privileged. Also, people compare them to their parents,” he said.