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Rising sons in Gujarat Congress set abruptly

Ten of the 14 sons of senior Congress leaders, including that of President Shankersinh Vaghela, lost in the Gujarat elections.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2002 15:17 IST

The rising sons of Congress leaders in Gujarat set abruptly as they bit the dust at the hustings.

Sons seemed to be on the rise again in the Congress with the progeny of present and past leaders nominated in 14 constituencies across the state for Thursday's elections. The party also fielded the wife of a senior legislator.

All but four of them lost.

The biggest upset was the defeat of Gujarat Congress president Shankersinh Vaghela's son Mahendrasinh at Sami in the northern Gujarat district of Sabarkantha.

The consolation win was that of Tushar Chaudhary, son of former chief minister Amarsinh Chaudhary, who pulled off the victory in the predominantly tribal constituency of Vyara despite stiff resistance from a rebel Congress candidate.

The Congress had fielded Anil Patel, son of former state Congress president C D Patel, in Jalalpore constituency in south Gujarat. His father used to represent the constituency in the assembly. Anil lost to R C Patel of BJP.

The sons of three senior Congress leaders were members of the dissolved assembly. All three were renominated.

Bharat Solanki, son of former chief minister Madhavsinh Solanki, was fielded again from Borsad in central Gujarat. He was the only other rising son apart from Tushar Chaudhary.

Bharat Makwana, son of former federal minister Yogendra Makwana, failed to clinch Sojitra constituency while Siddharth Patel, son of former chief minister Chiman Patel, lost his Dabhoi constituency in Vadodara district.

Both of them were swept away by the Hindutva wave as their constituencies had witnessed unrest during the sectarian violence early in the year.

If that was not enough, former Gujarat Congress president Prabodh Raval's son Chetan suffered a crushing defeat in Asarwa constituency of Ahmedabad. The father had represented Asarwa.

And while Vaghela loyalist Vitthal Radadia retained his Dhoraji seat in Saurashtra, his wife, who was fielded from Kalawad constituency in the same region, lost badly.

The Congress -- often accused of promoting dynastic politics for the Nehru-Gandhi family's dominance -- had defended its decision to nominate the kin of top leaders saying it would be unfair to disqualify potential winners just because they are related to politicians.

Few in the Congress were ready to comment on the sons' premature setting.

State party spokesman Hasmukh Patel merely said: "Many of the leaders were defeated due to the Hindutva wave that swept the state."

First Published: Dec 16, 2002 15:17 IST