Across party lines, political heirs make their presence felt
Political heirs of prominent leaders are no more exceptions and the trend of sons and daughters of prominent politicians stepping into the political arena is not confined to any one party. In Bihar, there are innumerable instances of leaders cutting across party lines passing on the baton to their heirs successfully. For some, it was easy pickings, while for others it came after spending a lot of time in the rough and tumble of politics.
This includes wards of former Bihar chief ministers, union ministers and state leaders. Former Bihar CM late Daroga Prasad Rai’s son Chandrika Rai is in the fray from Saran. Rai is the ‘samdhi’ of Lalu Prasad and has represented the Parsa Assembly seat in Saran district six times in the past and was runner-up twice.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s younger son Tejaswhi Prasad Yadav is holding the party reins in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls, while his daughter Misa Bharti is trying her luck for the second time from Pataliputra constituency.
Leading the pack, however, is the family of union minister Ram Vilas Paswan, who decided not to contest this time, but three of his kin - his son Chirag Paswan and two brothers - are again in the fray. Paswan’s younger brother Pashupati Kumar Paras is contesting from his stronghold Hajipur.
In Samastipur, Ram Vilas Paswan’s another brother Ram Chandra Paswan will fight it out against Ashok Kumar, former Bihar Congress president and son of five-time MLA and former Congress minister late Balwashwar Ram. Baleshwar Ram had won the Rosera seat in the 1980 Lok Sabha elections, but his son is yet to win LS election even once. Last time, Ashok Kumar had lost to Ramchandra Paswan and it will be a repeat contest this time.
In Madhubani, five-term MP and former union minister Hukumdev Narayan Yadav decided not to contest this time and the BJP gave the seat to his son Ashok Yadav, who has been an old leader of the party. Ashok Yadav represented Keoti Assembly seat in Darbhanga on the BJP ticket thrice before losing to RJD’s Faraz Fatmi in 2015 when JD-U, RJD and the Congress were together.
However, this is the first time he is contesting Lok Sabha election from his father’s bastion and is confident. “True, father’s legacy is a great help, but I have toiled in the organsiation at various levels to come this far. From 1987-92, I was with ABVP in Delhi University and joined BJP in 1993. I was also implicated in a false case in 2004. This time, there is undercurrent for Narendra Modi,” he said.
Former union minister Akhilesh Singh has fielded his son Akash Singh from Motihari. This is Akash’s first brush with electoral politics. Same is the case with former MP and ‘bahubali’ Surajbhan Singh’s brother Chandan Kumar, who faced another first timer and wife of suspended RJD MLA Raj Ballabh Yadav, Vibha Devi from Nawada in the first phase on April 11.
In Siwan, JD-U MLA from Daraunda Kavita Singh is taking on RJD’s Heena Sahab. Kavita Singh is the daughter-in-law of JD-U MLA late Jagmato Devi, while Sahab is the wife of incarcerated former RJD MP Md Shahabuddin. From Sheohar, sitting BJP MP Rama Devi, wife of former RJD MLA late Brij Bihari Singh, is trying her luck again.
In Muzaffarpur, five-term MP late Jai Narayan Nishad’s son Ajay Nishad, who won the seat for the first time in Narendra Modi wave in 2014, is hoping of a repeat. The sitting West Champaran MP Dr Sanjay Jaiswal of the BJP is again in the fray this year. Son of former BJP MP late Dr Madan Jaiwal, Dr Sanjay Jaiswal represented the seat both in 2009 and 2014.
Former Lok Sabha speaker and two-time Sasaram MP Meira Kumar, daughter of Congress veteran Jagjivan Ram, is contesting to retain her seat from Chedi Paswan of the BJP. Jagjivan Ram, who was a minister in the Jawaharlal Nehru cabinet and later went on become country’s defence minister and agriculture minister, represented the seat seven times.
Union minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, who is challenging sitting Patna Sahib MP Shatrughan Sinha of the Congress, also has a political legacy. His father Thakur Prasad was a leader of the BJP and a cabinet minister in the Karpoori Thakur government. In Aurangabad, sitting MP Sushil Singh’s father Ram Naresh Singh represented the seat twice, while he is trying for the third term.