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Gen Next girls get into dads’ political shoes

They’re new daughters on the political block. Each one staking her claim to the political legacy inherited from dad.

india Updated: Mar 14, 2009 00:05 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times

They’re new daughters on the political block. Each one staking her claim to the political legacy inherited from dad.

One among them is Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar’s daughter and Rajya Sabha MP Supriya Sule (39) who started her campaign for her first Lok Sabha contest from Baramati, a month before parties started seat-sharing talks.

By the time, political parties in the state formally announce their list of candidates, Supriya would have visited every village in her constituency, nurtured by her father for nearly four decades.

“It’s my job as a candidate to know my constituency and meet as many people as possible,” said Sule, who is practically living out of her car.

Like Sule are Union Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde’s daughter, Praniti (28); late actor-politician Sunil Dutt’s daughter Priya (42) and late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan’s daughter Poonam (27).

Priya, who won by-election to her father’s constituency two years ago, is likely to contest from North Central Mumbai.

Poonam could be a BJP candidate from Mumbai South where she may have a face-off with the Congress young turk Milind Deora.
If the buzz in Congress circles is to be believed, Praniti will contest from her father’s constituency in Solapur where she has been working with women’s self-help groups for five years. “I have been hearing about me contesting elections but nothing is final till it is announced,’’ said Praniti, admitting it was great to see women carrying forward their dad’s mantle.

So, is it exactly a cakewalk being daddy’s girl?

“Most of us might have got faster recognition thanks to our fathers but we have also worked in the social sphere,” admits Praniti who believes that women can prove to be more committed to people.

Sule echoes the view. “It’s tough to try and fill my father’s shoes. The expectations are very high,” she says, adding it’s not always easy despite all the affection and acceptance.

Not content to rest on inherited laurels alone, these GenNext daughters are expanding support base among the hoi-polloi.

Besides these big names, there are other political heiresses who are hopping aboard their father’s turf. Like criminal-turned-politician Arun Gawli’s daughter Geeta who might contest assembly polls this year.

First Published: Mar 14, 2009 00:04 IST