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Heirs of political stalwarts vying for tickets in Malwa

In the opium belt of Mandsaur, Neemuch and Ratlam, the second generation of dominant politicians in the area has come of age and is raring to prove exactly that.

india Updated: Oct 24, 2003 15:04 IST

In the opium laced belt of Mandsaur, Neemuch and Ratlam, the second generation of the dominant politicians in the area has come of age and is raring to prove their mettle in the political arena.

Whether the aspirants from the second generation are given tickets and more importantly whether they manage to win remains to be seen, there are no less than six aspirants in the race for tickets from among the twelve seats spread over the Mandsaur, Neemuch and Ratlam districts.

In the last elections also two from among the present lot of second generation aspirants had been given tickets – Mangal Pandey from Manasa against Narendra Nahata (Neemuch) and Dr Rajendra Pandey from Jaora against Mahendra Singh – but both of them lost, albeit narrowly, and this time they appear confident and all the more determined to settle scores with their rivals.

The second generation of the two stalwarts and bitter rivals of the of the area - if not the State – the late Virendra Kumar Saklecha and Sunderlal Patwa are well on their way to claim their political heritage. The late Saklecha’s eldest son Om Saklecha is all set to get the BJP ticket from

Javad his father’s constituency, while Sunderlal Patwa’s nephew Mangal Patwa is trying his level best to get himself repeated from Manasa, with the elder Patwa’s blessings. The senior Patwa himself has been keeping indifferent health and it is only due to the elections that he has bestirred himself.

Dr Laxminarayan Pandey, another dominant BJP politician of the area who won the Lok Sabha seat from Mandsaur, has ensured that his son and political heir Dr Rajendra Pandey is groomed to take over. He has staked claim for the ticket from Jaora once again. Through there is no one in the BJP who can deny the elder Dr Pandey a Lok Sabha ticket if he wants to contest, yet it is only a matter of time before he steps down.

It is due to Congressman Balkavi Baigari’s political standing in the area that he is now a Rajya Sabha member, and now he is promoting his son Munna Bairagi to step into his political shoes. For the present election, Munna Bairagi is trying to get a ticket from Manasa – from where State Industry and Commerce Minister Narendra Nahata is holding fort. He has a very good chance of getting the ticket if Nahata shifts to Mandsaur, which the latter is very keen on.

The present chairman of Mandsaur municipality Yashpal Sisodia of the BJP is also another second-generation politician who has thrown his hat in the political ring. Son of Kishore Sisodiya who was elected from Sitamau, Yashpal, who has the blessing of MP Dr Laxminarayan Pandey is trying to get ticket from either Mandsaur or if not then from Sitamau.

In the reserved constituency of Suwasara, in Mandsaur district, Girish Verma of the Congress is aspiring to get the ticket instead of the Congress incumbent – Pushpa Bharatiya. Son of Asaram Verma, who won election from this constituency in 1985, Girish, is another second-generation aspiring politician.

There are a couple of sons of politicians who are making strides in the political field in the area, Though they have haven’t staked claim for any ticket because their fathers are the main ticket claimants, it is also a fact that with their fathers getting old they are being groomed to take over. In the reserved tribal seat of Sailana in Raltam district, Prabhudayal Gehlot, who won as an independent last time when the Congress denied him ticket has a rising son in the form of Harsh Gehlot.

The other is Vikas Kothari, who is the up and coming son of BJP MLA from Ratlam City Himmat Kothari, who helped the ABVP sweep the local college elections recently. Both Harsh and Vikas are active in local politics and according to observers it’s a matter of time before the political mantle of their father falls into their lap – and join the others in doing their bit in perpetuating the saga of political dynasties in India.

First Published: Oct 24, 2003 15:04 IST