Among the slogans coined by the BJP for the 2019 elections was the oft-repeated ‘Naamdar vs Kaamdar’. PM Narendra Modi himself repeatedly raised the slogan, starting from the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan in December.
While Modi used the slogan primarily to attack Congress president Rahul Gandhi — framing it as a battle between Naamdars known for their last names, and Kaamdars defined by their work — in the results declared on Thursday, several dynasts were licked.
A total of 38 candidates belonging to political families, particularly regional, were in the fray. Of these, 22 were trailing at 7 pm. What will make this more bitter for the Opposition is that even in this, the voters appeared to reserve their contempt for the non-NDA parties. All the 22 trailing belonged to non-BJP parties — 10 from the Congress, three the SP, two the RLD, two the JD(S) and one each the TRS, TDP, NCP, RJD and Jannayak Janata Party (JJP). The eight NDA candidates (six BJP, two LJP) with political lineage all appeared to be winning by comfortable margins.
Apart from them, two candidates from the Congress, two from the SP and one each from JDS and NCP families were also winning.
The top of the pack among dynasts to fall was Congress president Rahul Gandhi, defeated from the family pocketborough of Amethi.
In Tumkur, Karnataka, JD(S) supremo and former PM H D Deve Gowda trailed behind BJP candidate G S Basavaraj, in what would be his first ever election loss. His grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, was staring at a loss in Mandya against Independent candidate Sumalata Ambareesh, said to be backed by the BJP. Only his other grandson, Prajwal Revanna, appeared to be winning from Hasan.
In Telangana, powerful TRS chief and state CM Chandrasekhara Rao’s daughter K Kavitha was way behind the BJP’s Arvind Dharmapuri in Nizamabad.
TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu, at the forefront of cobbling up Opposition alliance for months, was not only routed in the Andhra Assembly elections by the YSRCP (Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party) but even his son Nara Lokesh trailed by a significant margin in Mangalgiri. He was losing to the YSRCP’s A R Krishna Reddy.
In UP, the story was no different. Dharmendra Yadav (Badaun) and Akshay Yadav (Firozabad), nephews of former state CM Mulayam Singh Yadav, both trailed behind BJP candidates. Even SP chief Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple trailed from Kannauj behind the BJP’s Subrat Pathak. Only Akhilesh and Mulayam led from their seats of Azamgarh and Mainpuri.
In 2014, the SP had won five seats in UP, all by Mulayam family members. Both RLD chief Ajit Singh and his son Jayant Chaudhary lost, from Muzaffarnagar and Baghpat respectively. Congress’s Jitin Prasada lost from Dhaurahra, behind the BJP and BSP candidates.
In the state, the other winning dynasts belonged to the BJP. Union minister Maneka Gandhi was in tough fight against the BSP’s Chandra Bhadra Singh in Sultanpur, leading by a slender margin. Her son Varun Gandhi though was comfortably placed in Pilibhit, with almost 60% votes in his favour.
In neighbouring Bihar, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad’s daughter Misa Bharti trailed behind the BJP’s Ram Kripal Yadav by a significant margin in Pataliputra. Ram Kripal had won the seat against Misa in 2014 as well.
The LJP’s Ram Vilas Paswan, another state satrap, however, found himself on the right side of the dynastic divide. Both his son Chirag Paswan and brother Paras Kumar were winning from their respective constituencies of Jamui and Hajipur.
In Madhya Pradesh, among the shock losers was top Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna, trailing by a significant margin behind the BJP’s Krishnapal Singh.
State CM Kamal Nath’s son Nakul seemed comfortably placed in his bastion Chhindwara, in what could be the Congress’s only win in MP.
In Maharashtra too, dynasties saw mixed results. While NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s daughter Supriya Sule seemed to be winning her seat (Baramati) by a comfortable margin, his grandson Parth Pawar was trailing from Maval.
In Mumbai South, Milind Deora, the son of former Union minister Murli Deora, was way behind the Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant. In Mumbai North Central, with two dynasts in the fray, the BJP’s Poonam Mahajan, daughter of late Pramod Mahajan, was leading the Congress’s Priya Dutt, daughter of former sports minister Sunil Dutt.
From Nanded, Ashok Chavan, the son of former Congress leader Shankarrao Chavan, was also losing. He had won the seat in 2014.
In Haryana, candidates from top political families stared at defeat. Both former state CM Bhupender Hooda (Sonipat) and son Deepender (Rohtak) trailed by a large margin. In Hisar, the contest between two dynasts appears to have gone in favour of the BJP. Union minister Chaudhary Birendra Singh’s son Brijendra Singh was leading JJP candidate and grandson of former state CM Om Prakash Chautala by more than 2 lakh votes.
In Rajasthan, while Congress CM Ashok Gehlot’s son Vaibhav appeared to be losing from Jodhpur, former state CM Vasundhara Raje’s son was in a position to win from Jhalawar.
In West Bengal, former president Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijeet was staring at a severe drubbing in Jangipur while state CM Mamata Bannerjee’s nephew Abhishek looked headed for a comfortable victory.
In Assam, while former CM Tarun Gogoi’s son won by a comfortable margin from Kaliabor, the Congress’s Sushmita Dev trailed far behind the BJP in Silchar.