The Bharatiya Janata Party which never loses an opportunity to accuse arch-rival Congress of perpetuating dynastic politics, too has fielded candidates who have been allotted tickets on the basis of their family legacy. As many as three Lok Sabha candidates from the BJP are sons of former or serving chief ministers.
The latest entrant is Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's son B Y Raghvendra, who will undergo political baptism from Shimoga. But BJP maintains it is not perpetuating dynastic politics. "The basic difference is that in the Congress it is the dynasty that controls the party. It is a one-family party but we are not. In a democratic set-up nobody will ban a person from political work just because he is related to somebody," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told PTI.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal's son Anurag Thakur, who replaced his father as MP from Hamirpur in 2008, will contest to retain his seat. Dushyant Singh, son of former Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, will contest for the second time from Jhalawar. He is a sitting MP from this constituency. There are several others in the BJP list who are in the fray courtesy their political families. Maneka Gandhi's son Varun Gandhi will contest from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, till now his mother's seat. She will contest from Aaonla.
Javadekar argued that Congress only "worships" one family, in a reference to the Nehru-Gandhi clan. "They don't even remember the names of Lal Bahadur Shastri, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel or P V Narsimha Rao," he said.
Rahul Gandhi, who represents the fourth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi family, will be contesting from Amethi in UPonce again. Some leaders from the main Opposition also maintain that winning the first time may be easy but an MP has to slog to retain his place.
Manvendra Singh, MP from Barmer and son of Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh, is in the fray again from his constituency and many feel his performance in the last five years will be put to test. Another candidate who seems to have benefitted from his family connections is ace-shooter Jaspal Rana. He is the brother-in-law of BJP president Rajnath Singh's son and will contest from Tehri in Uttarkhand.
Congress and BJP are not the only two political parties which seem to encourage dynastic politics. BJP's new ally Ajit Singh is likely to field his son Jayant from Mathura constituency. Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar, who is at present in alliance with the Congress, has vacated his Baramati seat for his daughter Supriya Sule for the forthcoming polls.