In a Bihar election that has seen several big names pass on the baton, Sharad Yadav’s daughter Wednesday entered the fray. With Yadav ailing and his fledgling Loktantrik Janata Dal finding no takers, Subhashini Yadav joined the Congress in Delhi — marking a full circle for her 75-year-old father’s politics built on anti-Congressism.
Subhashini could be fielded from Bihariganj in Madhepura district, her father’s pocketborough. Sources said the Congress could also give a ticket to former BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha’s son Luv from a seat in Patna.
Sharad Yadav’s daughter on a Congress ticket is another twist in a Bihar field now replete with them. A product of the JP Movement like many contemporaries, Yadav had in 1974 won as a joint opposition candidate in a by-election for the Jabalpur Lok Sabha constituency. The victory against the mighty Indira Gandhi was seen as one of the turning points in Indian politics.
In 2015, Yadav was still in the JD(U) when it won the Bihar elections in alliance with the RJD and Congress, and he had justified that the era of anti-Congressism was over. Two years later, isolated by Nitish Kumar, a bitter Yadav had left the JD(U).
An MBA, Subhashini told The Indian Express, “I worship my father. Whatever his ideology is my ideology and at this point… the opposition is united against communal forces… My father has been a part of the Mahagathbandhan since 2017.”
She said there was a demand from the people for leadership since her father was hospitalised. “It is my moral responsibility to take forward his legacy.”
The Congress has already fielded Congress Legislature Party leader Sadanand Singh’s son Shubhanand Mukesh from Kahalgaon and former minister and sitting MLA Awadhesh Kumar Singh’s son Shashi Shekhar Singh from his Wazirganj seat. Ex-MLA Aditya Singh’s daughter-in-law Nitu Kumari is the party candidate from Hisua.
The Congress isn’t alone in this either, as JD(U) spokesperson K C Tyagi underlines. “All parties have a tinge of dynasty.”
Lalu Prasad’s sons Tejashwi and Tej Pratap Yadav, standing from Raghopur and Hasanpur, respectively, lead the list.
RJD state chief Jagadanand Singh’s son Sudhakar has been fielded from father’s bastion Ramgarh. Vice-president Shivanand Tiwari, who was with the JD(U) till 2014, has secured a ticket for son Rahul from Shahpur Buxar.
The daughter of former Union minister Jai Prakash Narain Yadav, Divya Prakash, is contesting from Tarapu, while Chetan Anand, son of former MP couple Lovely Anand and Anand Mohan Singh, has been fielded from Sheohar. Singh is serving life sentence for murder.
RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha said dynastic politics had to be seen in the “entire South Asian context”. “Certain families in the region do enjoy support of the masses. But ultimately, it’s the people’s choice.”
Shreyasi Singh, a Commonwealth Games gold medalist in shooting and the daughter of former Union minister Digvijay Singh, will contest from Jamui on a BJP ticket.
The JD(U) has fielded Panchayati Raj Minister Kapil Dev Kamat’s daughter-in-law Meena Kamat from Babubarh, and sitting JD(U) MLA Janardan Manjhi’s son Jayant Raj from Amarpur.
The most curious case remains of former JD(U) leader Vinod Kumar Choudhary’s daughter Pushpam Priya Choudhary, who floated what she called the ‘Plurals Party’ earlier this year, with full-page ads in English dailies in Delhi pronouncing her a CM candidate. A post-graduate from a UK university, Choudhary is active on Twitter, earning her a follower base of 1 lakh plus. But that may remain the extent of her ambition.
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