Sons of four former Chief Ministers and two former Speakers in the fray for November 25 elections

Elections in Madhya Pradesh on November 25 will see the sons of four former Chief Ministers and two former Speakers contesting to enter the Vidhan Sabha. In a State that has a history of electing members of former royal families, politics is seen like any other trade and the baton is passed on in the family.

The sons of former Chief Ministers Sunderlal Patwa, Kailash Joshi, Arjun Singh and Digvijaya Singh are in the fray. Arjun Singh’s son Ajay is the Opposition leader and he faces the BJP’s Shardendu Tiwari — son of veteran socialist Chandra Pratap Tiwari — in Churhat. The former Speaker Sriniwas Tiwari’s son Sunderlal and grandson Vivek are contesting in Rewa district.

Opponents of the former Chief Minister Uma Bharti in Sagar district BJP were furious when her nephew Rahul Singh secured a ticket to contest from Khargapur and called a hartal in protest.

The former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s nephew Anup Mishra — a State Cabinet Minister — is contesting from Bhitarwar. The former Deputy Chief Minister Subhash Yadav’s son Sachin is contesting from Kasrawad on Congress ticket. His brother Arun is an MP. The former Deputy Speaker Harvansh Singh’s son Rajneesh has inherited the Keolari seat. So has the former Speaker Ishwardas Rohani’s son Ashok, who is the BJP’s candidate from Jabalpur Cantonment. Both Harvansh Singh (Congress) and Ishwardas Rohani died earlier this year.

The head of the Congress Campaign Committee and Union Minister of State for Power Jyotiraditya Scindia’s aunt Yashodhara Raje Scindia and grand aunt Maya Singh — both BJP MPs — are contesting for the Vidhan Sabha. Another aunt Vasundhara Raje is the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in Rajasthan.

Two Madhya Pradesh Ministers, Ranjana Baghel and Vijay Shah, have relatives in the fray. Ms. Baghel’s husband Mukam Singh Kirade is contesting from Kukshi and Mr. Shah’s brother Sanjay Makdai from Timarni. Mr. Kirade and Mr. Makdai are MLAs.

Relatives of party bigwigs such as BJP National Vice-President Vikram Verma’s wife Neena, Congress MP Sajjan Verma’s wife Rekha are also contesting.

But Ministers Kailash Vijayvargiya, Gopal Bhargava and Jayant Mallayya (all BJP) and Kamal Nath (Congress) could not secure ticket for their sons. A section of the Congress MPs was at loggerheads with the central leadership after relatives were denied ticket.

Former Chief Minister Govind Narayan Singh’s son Dhruv Narayan Singh, BJP MLA from Central Bhopal, was dropped. Semariya’s BJP MLA Abhay Mishra was also denied ticket, but his wife has been fielded by the BJP.

Almost all ticket-winners have had long experience in politics. Vivek Tiwari, for example, is a three-time president of the district panchayat andformer State general secretary of the National Students Union of India and the Indian Youth Congress.

“I’ve been in the Congress since 1996 and have got the chance to contest because of the work I have put in. Of course, I picked up my style of functioning from my grandfather. No matter who came to him for help, even if they are from outside Madhya Pradesh, he would try his best to solve their problems,” he told this correspondent.

The children of some politicians are starting early. Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan’s 18-year-old son Kartikey, who studies law in Mumbai, is campaigning for his father in Budhni. Jyotiraditya Scindia’s son Mahanaryaman, also 18, had in June toured Shivpuri and Ashok Nagar districts where he spoke at public events.