It is perhaps one of the worst kept secrets of the Congress party in Madhya Pradesh. No one would officially acknowledge it yet but it would take an extraordinary set of circumstances,or obstacles,to stop AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singh’s son Jaivardhan from contesting the next elections from the family pocketborough of Raghogarh.
Although there are sons of other politicians who are also willing to take the plunge,they may not be as lucky as the 27-year-old Jaivardhan,who had the seat virtually served to him on a platter in July this year when the incumbent Congress legislator announced that it was time for him to withdraw due to failing health.
The secret was out two years ago when Jaivardhan,then pursuing an MBA degree from an American university,undertook a padayatra in Raghogarh to acquaint himself with the problems on ground. The constituency had been represented for 20 years by his father Digvijaya Singh and uncle Laxman Singh.
Other sons of state leaders who are eyeing tickets in the upcoming assembly elections will have to work much harder and cannot be so sure of their candidature. They can only be strong contenders. Among them is PCC president Kantilal Bhurias son Vikrant Bhuria,who appears to be at the forefront for a ticket in the tribal-dominated Jhabua district. The 29-year-old medical surgeon has spent only a couple of years in politics but is considered ready for powerplay.
Union minister Kamal Naths son Nakul,who has managed his fathers campaigns in the past,is another name that is doing the rounds for being a possible claimant of a ticket in the assembly elections. A section of the party,however,feels that he may let it go this time and instead choose the general elections to make a splash.
In a state where dynasty politics dates back to the time when Ravishankar Shukla was the chief minister,who cleared the ground for his sons Vidyacharan and Shyamacharan to make it big in politics in the years ahead,the ruling BJP is also not left untouched by this poll-time push and promotion by eager leader-parents who,unlike in the past,want their children to take the dive at a relatively younger age.
Maverick minister Kailash Vijayvargiya surprised everyone recently when he tweeted that the time has come for his son Akash to follow in his footsteps. The minister attributed this desire to pass the baton to his 28-year-old son after learning how popular he was. The minister then left the decision to the party but not before ensuring a potential future for his son,who also flaunts a degree from an American university.
Let him first contest municipal elections, says an Indore-based BJP leader,opposed to the idea of rookies parachuting their way to contest assembly elections.
There are others in the BJP like Indore MP Sumitra Mahajan,who had made a ticket for her son an issue before the last elections. This time she is expected to push her case further in a stronger manner and is unlikely to yield to anything less than a ticket.
Minister for Social Justice and Rural Development Gopal Bhargava,Speaker Ishwardas Rohani,former speaker Srinivas Tiwari,Lok Sabha MPs from Ujjain and Dewas Premchand Guddu and Sajjan Singh Varma respectively the list of leaders whose sons have sought tickets is endless.
Though it may cause friction and heartburn within the respective parties,such clamour for tickets bring with them a few pluses too.
A Congress insider says it may sound wrong in principle but when sons of senior politicians contest elections the party benefits in more ways than one. Given the resources and manpower the seniors enjoy,their presence impacts three to four neighbouring seats as well.
Winnability is the main criterion and the decision to field the sons and daughters of leaders could be questioned only when it happens at the cost of other deserving candidates,he says.
In the reckoning,ready to take the mantle
* AICC general secretary Digvijaya Singhs son is a contender for Raghogarh seat.
* After studying in Doon School and Delhis Shri Ram College of Commerce,he did his MBA from Columbia University. He also interned with the Planning Commission.
* He made his foray into politics two years ago,when he interacted with people during padyatras in Raghogarh.
* Union Minister Kamal Naths son is a contender for Chouria constituency in Chhindwara district. Barring one defeat,the senior Nath has represented the Chhindwara Lok Sabha constituency for nearly three decades.
* Nakul Nath has rarely been seen at the PCC headquarters. He is known more for managing his fathers campaign in Chhindwara district.
Dr Vikrant Bhuria,29
* Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee chief Kantilal Bhurias son is a contender for Thandla seat in tribal-dominated Jhabua district.
* A qualified doctor,he did his MS from Indores M Y Medical College.
* vikrant claims he was not interested in politics,but was launched with much fanfare by his father early this year. Getting a ticket may not be easy though,as the sitting Congress MLA does not want to vacate the seat.
* The son of Madhya Pradesh Industry Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya is a contender for any seat in and around Indore.
* He did his Masters in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.
* When Akash celebrated his birthday last month,his father said he was surprised to know how popular he was among the youth. Its time to make way for him, he tweeted.
BJP stalwart Vijayaraje Scindias son Madhavrao Scindia,and daughters Vasundhara and Yashodhara,and grandsons Jyotiraditya and Dushyant,have achieved success in either the BJP or the Congress. Current Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Ajay Singh is the son of former chief minister Arjun Singh.