Uttarakhand Assembly Polls: Major Political Parties Prioritise 'Dynasties' Over Common Workers
Dehradun, Jan 28 (PTI) In an attempt to cash in on the prestige of veteran leaders and convert it into the gain of seats in Uttarakhand, major political parties like the BJP and the Congress have once again given priority to political families over their common workers.
Though the BJP often targets the Congress over 'dynastic politics', both the parties have expressed their trust only in the close relatives of the leaders in more than 20 per cent of the total assembly constituencies of the state.
In the elections to be held on February 14 for 70 assembly seats in the state, more than a dozen candidates are trying to seek the blessings of voters by taking the help of the names of their parents, father-in-law, brother or husband.
The Congress has fielded Anukriti Gusain, daughter-in-law of former cabinet minister Harak Singh Rawat, who recently rejoined the party, from the Lansdowne seat. Party workers believe that Harak Singh will get the benefit of his 'dabang' image to snatch this seat from the BJP.
On this seat, Anukriti is pitted against two-time BJP MLA Dilip Singh Rawat, who in 2012 took over the political legacy of his father and region's stalwart Bharat Singh Rawat.
The Congress has also given the ticket to party veteran Indira Hridayesh's son Sumit from Haldwani after her death hoping to retain the traditional seat held by his mother.
After the recent demise of Harbans Kapoor, a record eight-time MLA from Dehradun Cantt Assembly seat, the BJP has fielded his wife Savita and the party workers are confident that it will get the electoral benefit of Harbans Kapoor's stature.
The BJP has also fielded sitting Khanpur MLA Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion's wife Kunvarani Devyani from the seat this time, Kashipur MLA Harbhajan Singh Cheema's son Trilok Singh from his father's seat and former chief minister Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri's daughter Ritu Khanduri from Kotdwar.
Former chief minister Vijay Bahuguna's son Saurabh Bahuguna has been given the ticket from Sitarganj, former cabinet minister late Prakash Pant's wife Chandra Pant has been given the ticket from Pithoragarh, former MLA late Surendra Singh Jeena's brother Mahesh Jeena has been given ticket from Salt.
While Khanduri and Bahuguna became MLAs after contesting the 2017 assembly elections, Pant and Jeena had won the 2019 and 2021 by-polls, respectively, following the death of their husband and brother, respectively.
The Congress has fielded party general secretary Harish Rawat's daughter Anupama from Haridwar Rural while Sanjeev, son of former cabinet minister Yashpal Arya, from Nainital.
Harish Rawat himself is contesting from Lalkuan while Yashpal Arya is contesting from Bajpur.
Mamta Rakesh, an MLA from Bhagwanpur and contesting for the second time on a Congress ticket, is the wife of the veteran leader of the region and former cabinet minister late Surendra Rakesh.
The Congress has fielded Narendra Singh, son of former MP and MLA KC Singh Baba from Kashipur.
When asked about his son Trilok fielded by the BJP from his seat, sitting BJP MLA from Kashipur Harbhajan Singh Cheema said children of political families already have experience in the field of politics.
'I have fought and won four elections and in all of them, my son has been with me. Apart from this, he has closely observed and participated in my political and social activities,' he said.
When asked why politicians don't choose an ordinary party worker when it comes to distribution of tickets, Cheema said if the son of a farmer can do farming, the son of a shopkeeper can sit at his father's shop, then why can't the son of a politician join politics.
'Is it a crime to be the son of a politician ?,' he asked.
However, some BJP leaders do not agree with this view.
Opposing the ticket given to Kapoor from Dehradun Cantt, senior BJP leader Vinay Goyal said that the ticket in the election should be given only after seeing the work of the worker and not by looking at the family.
The Congress which kept talking about the formula of 'one family one ticket' appears to have relaxed the rule in the case of Yashpal Arya and his son Sanjeev who have both been fielded from Bajpur and Nainital seats respectively.
It also gave tickets to both Harish Rawat and his daughter Anupama but applied the rule of 'one family one ticket' while denying a ticket to Harak Singh.
When asked about this Harish Rawat said Anupama has been given a ticket by the Congress as a worker who has been working in the area for the last 20 years.
'Firstly, Anupama has a separate family and secondly she is working in the area for the last 20 years,' he said.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)
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