If the 2014 elections saw the defeat of Congress scions like Sachin Pilot, Jitin Prasada, Karti Chidamabram, Milind Deora and Priya Dutt, it also saw the rise of new political heirs in the BJP, a party which has always opposed dynastic politics. Some of them could find a place in Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers, for which the jockeying has already begun.
* Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh’s son, Abhishek Singh, made an impressive debut from Rajnandgaon, winning the seat which his father once represented by a margin 2.35 lakh votes. At 33, Abhishek, an engineering graduate and an MBA from XLRI, is among the youngest MPs from Chhattisgarh.
* Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha opted out of the race for the Hazaribagh seat in Jharkhand to make way for his son, Jayant Sinha, 50. An IIT-Delhi graduate with a management degree from Harvard, Jayant quit his job with investment firm Omidyar Network to contest, and win, the elections. He is learnt to be keen on working on economic issues and helping frame the economic agenda for the party.
* Poonam Mahajan, 33, daughter of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, is another first-time MP, having defeated the Congress’s Priya Dutt from the Mumbai North Central constituency. She had lost to Dutt in 2009.
* Former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma’s son, Parvesh Verma, 36, won the West Delhi seat while former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Kalyan Singh’s son, Rajveer Singh, 51, won the Etah seat in Uttar Pradesh.
* Among the BJP’s allies, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan’s son, Chirag Paswan, 32, who won the Jamui seat in Bihar, is another ministerial hopeful.
Then there are the other BJP heirs who have been around for some time now. They are expected to be more visible and may possibly rewarded with ministerial posts.
Among these are Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s son, Dushyant Singh, 43, who has been elected from the Jhalawar-Baran seat for the second consecutive time; former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister P K Dhumal’s son, Anurag Thakur, 40, also the BJP’s youth wing chief, who won from Hamirpur again; Maneka’s Gandhi’s son, Varun Gandhi, 34, who won the Sultanpur seat.
The BJP has been working on honing the skills of these young MPs. For instance, Anurag Thakur and Varun Gandhi, were a part of a group that was trained to understand and hold forth on issues related to the defence sector.
The fact that many of the BJP heirs are well-qualified boosts their chances of being picked as ministers, with Modi clearly focusing on new technology and development for the Indian youth.
Over the last two days, several of these young MPs, including Anurag Thakur, Varun Gandhi and Pravesh Verma, queued up to meet Modi and BJP president Rajnath Singh. Among the others who called on Modi were Paswan and his son and Kalyan Singh.