The BJP has consistently criticised the Congress for dynastic politics, with Narendra Modi calling Rahul Gandhi Shehzada, but the trend is common to the candidate list of both parties.
The BJP has given tickets to the sons and daughters of many prominent leaders, among them being Jayant Sinha, son of former finance minister and BJP veteran Yashwant Sinha, from Hazaribagh.
Rajveer Singh, son of former UP chief minister Kalyan Singh, is contesting from Etah in Uttar Pradesh, while Abhishek Singh, son of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, will contest Rajnandgaon at the expense of a sitting party MP. Abhishek has been assisting his father for the last few years but has maintained a low profile.
“I want to be seen as the son not of Chief Minister Raman Singh but of Dr Raman Singh. If Kamleshwar Verma (Congress candidate) belongs to a farmer family, I too am the son of a farmer,” he said in Raipur.
Poonam Mahajan, daughter of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, will contest Mumbai North-Central against Priya Dutt.
Parvesh Verma, the son of late Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Verma, is contesting West Delhi. Ajay Nishad, the son of Lok Sabha MP Capt Jainarain Nishad, has been fielded from Muzaffarpur. And Varun Gandhi has been nominated from Sultanpur and Anurag Thakur, son of Prem Kumar Dhumal, from Hamirpur.
For the Congress, renominated sons and daughters besides Priya Dutt include Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora, Shruti Choudhary, Deepender Singh Hooda, Arun Yadav, Abhijeet Mukherjee, Nilesh Rana, Ravneet Singh Bittu, Hamdullah Sayeed and Jitin Prasada.
Among those newly fielded, a prominent one is Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s son Gaurav, who has been fielded from Kaliabor seat held by his uncle Dip Gogoi. Others include former union minister Santosh Mohan Dev’s daughter Sushmita from Silchar.
Assam Social Welfare Minister Akon Bora’s son Manas has won the primary for Guwahati, while the late Sis Ram Ola’s daughter-in-law Rajbala Ola won the primary for Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan. A third primary winner is former MP Datta Meghe’s son Sagar, who will contest Maharasthra’s Wardha.
In Madhya Pradesh, the party’s candidate in Balaghat, Heena Kaware, is the daughter of Likhiram Kaware, who was a minister in the Digvijaya Singh cabinet. In Uttar Pradesh, the party has given the Rampur ticket to former MP Begum Noor Bano’s son Kazim Ali Khan. And in Bastar, the party has fielded slain leader Mahendra Karma’s son Deepak.
The Congress has also given tickets to the wives of some high-profile leaders. Pappu Yadav’s wife Ranjita Ranjan is contesting Supaul while Amita Singh, wife of Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh, is the Sultanpur candidate. It has renominated Virbhadra Singh’s wife Pratiba from Mandi, and fielded A B Vajpayee’s niece Karuna Shukla in Bilaspur.
Inputs from ENS, Raipur
Former Apple executive and Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri has also been included in the spokespersons’ list.