Saturday, Oct 25, 2014

Politics a family affair: candidates find support

Written by Anupam Chakravartty | Vadodara | Posted: March 30, 2009 1:40 am

Besides political affiliations,family members of the contestants are believed to have influenced the elections and their outcomes greatly.

Newsline talked to family members of the fresh faces in this year’s electoral battle as well as the ones who have been there to find out the role played by this segment in determining political fortunes of the contestants.

“The moment the idea came up,I was all for it,” said daughter of Mallika Sarabhai,who is fighting against Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate from Gandhinagar L K Advani. Anahita said,“A large part of my time is now dedicated to helping my mother with her campaign.”

She said her mother will appear as a real person and not just someone whom voters happen to see every five years or on the street protected by 30 security cars blocking traffic. Anahita is not sure if she will ever contest elections in the future. However,she is against dynastic politics.

On the other hand,Rucha,the wife of BJP candidate from Vadodara,Balkrishna Shukla,can be seen meeting women’s associations around Vadodara and apprising them of the various issues voters face in the city. “I have five brothers who are helping me in the campaign along with my wife,” said Shukla. “No one can become a leader just because he is son or daughter of a leader. I had to work hard for 25 years to win the party’s trust,” said Shukla,who is pitted against one-time Congress MP Satyajit Gaekwad. “My brothers don’t aspire to become political leaders; they are just helping me out.”

The case of Naransinh Rathwa,sitting Congress MP from Chota Udaipur and Union Minister,is,however,different. His son Sangram,a computer engineer with MBA degree,aspires to contest state Assembly elections from the Pavi Jetpur constituency in near future.

“To help my father’s campaigning work,I have set up 1,900 booths across the constituency,where about 23,000 volunteers will work,” said Sangram. On dynastic politics,he said it has its own advantages and disadvantages.

“Here in Pavi Jetpur,people discuss even if I dress differently. It means people have certain expectations from me,” he said.

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