New Delhi: Bihar assembly election is not a make-or-break poll battle for just RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and LJP chief Chirag Paswan, the two dynasts who are fighting to retain the political legacy of their fathers. Political heirs of many other prominent leaders from the state are also looking to make political inroads.
While many lesser-known dynasts have joined the poll fray, some are fresh political entrants who may not be contesting this election, but are looking to gain ground through other routes.
Like Satya Prakash Singh, son of late Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, who formally joined the Janata Dal United [JD(U)] Thursday. Satya, an engineer by profession, works with a corporate firm in Delhi.
His father, Raghuvansh spent over 30 years with Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD, before he quit the party. Raghuvansh had written his resignation from the AIIMS hospital bed, upset over events in his party. The JD(U) has since then tried to capture the political space of the late socialist leader.
Satya will not be contesting the polls, but JD(U) sources say that he may be made a Member of Legislative Council (MLC) after polls.
“I could not join the RJD because it is no longer a socialist party. It is doing just the opposite of what socialist parties do”, he told The Print.
“My father did say that that one member of the family should be in politics”, Satya remarked.
Surprises in JD(U) and RJD
Dr Asma Praveen, who joined the JD(U) in 2018, is a friend of Lalu’s daughter and RJD MP Misa Bharti. She has been fielded by Nitish Kumar from Mahua assembly seat in Vaishali. The seat was earlier represented by Lalu’s eldest son Tej Pratap Yadav, who is contesting from Hassanur assembly seat in Samastipur district this year.
Asma runs her own clinic in Patna. Her father, Illiyas Hussain, was a close confidant of Lalu. He was the road construction minister till he was arrested by the CBI in connection with the Bitumen scam, and is currently in jail.
“I have not come for a ticket. I genuinely appreciate the work of Nitish Kumar,” she told ThePrint.
CM Nitish Kumar sprung a surprise when he announced Shalini Mishra as the candidate from Keshariya assembly seat in Purvi Champaran district. Shalini is the daughter of one of the tallest CPI leaders of Champaran region and four-time MP — late Kamala Mishra Madhukar.
She works for a multinational company in Mumbai, and joined the JD(U) in February this year.
“The JD(U) and Nitish Kumar are doing what my father worked for all his life”, she says.
Shalini, however, is little known in Keshariya, though there still is a high regard for her father, a JDU leader stated.
Yusuf Kaiser – son of Mehmood Ali Kaiser, LJP MP from Khagariia – recently joined the RJD in the presence of Tejashwi Yadav.
Yusuf is all set to contest from Simri Bakhtiyarpur in Saharsa district. It is a seat represented by his father and grandfather. Mehmood himself defected from the Congress to contest on the LJP seat in 2014 and has won twice as a NDA candidate.
“I tried to persuade my son not to join the RJD but there must be pressure from his constituency. I am myself firmly with the LJP and support the BJP at the Centre”, Mehmood told The Print.
Shooter Shreyasi Singh joins BJP
After 2005, the rivalry between Nitish Kumar and late Union minister Digvijay Singh became prominent. The bitterness was so profound that Nitish denied a ticket to Digvijay in 2009 from Banka, and Digvijay won as an independent. He remained a critic of Nitish Kumar till his death.
In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the JD(U) did not accommodate Digvijay’s wife and former BJP MP Putul Singh, and she contested unsuccessfully as an independent.
But this time, Digvijay’s daughter and ace Indian shooter Shreyasi Singh is contesting on a BJP ticket from Jamui. “She has come to take her father’s legacy and we will be expecting CM Nitish Kumar to root for her”, remarked KT Singh, close confidant of Digvijay’s family told The Print.
“The new generation is searching for their own political perspective. They are more educated than their parents. Unlike their parents who have risen as a party worker, the new generation has no emotional ties with parties or ideologies of the party their parents were. They may take advantage of their parent’s legacy, but are not bonded with it. This is why Chirag Paswan is distancing himself from the JD(U) and becoming close to the BJP”, remarked D.N. Diwakar, Professor, A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna, explaining the relatively new phenomena in dynasty politics.
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