Verdict 2014

Was this a vote against dynasty? These politicians’ kids won seats this election

The children of Yashwant Sinha, Sharad Pawar, Vasundhara Raje and Pranab Mukherjee are among those who have continued with the family business.

The Congress has been dislodged from power for the next five years, but the dynastic politics that the Gandhis came to represent have not disappeared. In fact, it seems to be kicking in with more rigour, as more families make politics their business.

Many heirs and heiresses fought for a place in the 16th Lok Sabha from constituencies across the country. Here is a look at some of the dynasts who will be in parliament this year.

Jayant Sinha
Son of Yashwant Sinha, Bharatiya Janata Party
Won from Hazaribagh, Jharkhand

Jayant Sinha with Modi. AFP PHOTO/STR

Even though his father was the former finance minister and foreign affairs minister, Jayant Sinha came to politics from an entirely different world. The younger Sinha has degrees from IIT Delhi and Harvard Business School, has lived in the United States for 25 years and worked in venture capital funds. When he was allotted his father's old seat Hazaribagh, many BJP members were unhappy with the decision. Although he was virtually unknown to the residents, he eventually won with a margin of 1.6 lakh votes, defeating Congress leader SN Singh.

Poonam Mahajan
Daughter of Pramod Mahajan, BJP
Won from Mumbai North Central

When senior BJP leader Pramod Mahajan was killed by his brother in 2006, many expected his son, Rahul, to step in his shoes. Instead, it was Poonam Mahajan who signed up as a member of the party, egged on by her uncle, the Maharashtra politician Gopinath Munde. She successfully took charge of the BJP’s youth wing, but lost when she contested the Maharashtra assembly polls in 2009. In the 2014 general election, she chose to ride the Modi wave and fight from a constituency that has long been a Congress stronghold. She defeated Priya Dutt of the Congress by a margin of 1.86 lakh votes.

Gourav Gogoi
Son of Tarun Gogoi, Congress
Won from Kaliabor, Assam

While Tarun Gogoi – the chief minister of Assam for the past 13 years – has offered to resign from office over Congress’ disastrous performance in the state, his young son proved to be a saving grace for the party. Gourav Gogoi, a former Airtel marketing executive, won his maiden electoral battle from Kaliabor, defeating BJP’s the MK Saikia by 93,000 votes. Gourav has an engineering degree from Delhi’s Indraprastha University and has also studied public administration in the US.

Chirag Paswan
Son of Ram Vilas Paswan, Lok Janshakti Party
Won from Jamui, Bihar

Chirag Paswan with his father. Photo: STRDEL / AFP

In 2011, Chirag Paswan, son of prolific Bihar politician and LJP founder Ram Vilas Paswan, made his debut as an actor in a Bollywood film called Miley Naa Miley Hum. The film disappeared without much of a trace, but Chirag had better luck with his debut in politics this election, winning the Jamui seat by 85,000 votes.

Dushyant Chautala
Son of Ajay Singh Chautala, Indian National Lok Dal
Won from Hisar, Haryana

By becoming the youngest MP in the Lok Sabha at the age of 26, Dushyant Chautala has taken dynastic politics in his family to the fourth generation. His great grandfather, Chaudhari Devi Lal, was a former deputy prime minister; his grandfather Om Prakash Chautala was a former chief minister of Haryana; and his father Ajay Singh Chautala has been both a Rajya Sabha and a Lok Sabha member. Dushyant Chautala won the Hisar seat by 31,000 votes.

Abhishek Singh
Son of Raman Singh, BJP
Won from Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh

As the son of Chhattisgarh’s most popular chief minister who was elected to his third term last year, Abhishek Singh was already considered a "prince" when he decided to stand for the election this year. Abhishek has an engineering degree and an MBA from Jamshedpur’s Xavier School of Management. He has worked in a multinational company in Pune. He beat his Congress rival by 2.4 lakh votes.

K Kavitha
Daughter of KC Rao, Telangana Rashtra Samithi
Won from Nizamabad, Andhra Pradesh

Riding the euphoria generated by the creation of Telangana state, TRS founder KC Rao’s daughter saw an easy victory in her first shot at politics. A software engineer, Kavitha was already popular for her work as the founder of Telangana Jagruthi, an organisation she founded in 2006 to promote the culture of Telangana. She played a role in reviving the celebration of Bathukamma, a nine-day festival specific to the region.

Dushyant Singh
Son of Vasundhara Raje, BJP
Won from Jhalawar-Baran, Rajasthan

Quite literally a shehzada, Dushyant Singh is the son of Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, who comes from the former royal Scindia clan of Gwalior, and Hemnant Singh, the titular Maharaja of Dholpur. An alumnus of institutes like Doon School, St Stephen’s College, and the Johnson and Wales University in the US, Dushyant has been an MP from Jhalawar-Baran since 2004. He secured his third term from the seat with a margin of 2.8 lakh votes.

Deepender Hooda
Son of Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Congress
Won from Rohtak, Haryana

Grandson of freedom fighter Ranbir Singh Hooda and son of Haryana’s current chief minister, Deepender has been an MP from Rohtak for two terms already. A software engineer who once worked with Reliance Industries Limited, he also serves as the president of the Haryana State Football Association.

Abhijit Mukherjee
Son of Pranab Mukherjee, Congress
Won from Jangipur, West Bengal

Now infamous as the politician who made the “dented and painted” remark about the women who protested against rape in Delhi, Abhijit Mukherjee caused much embarrassment to his father in December 2012. A mechanical engineer who had last worked with the Steel Authority of India, Abhijit started his political career when he was elected as the MP of Jangipur in October 2012. Despite the controversy, he managed to retain the seat this election.

Supriya Sule
Daughter of Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party
Won from Baramati, Maharashtra

While NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit is carrying forward the Pawar name in Maharashtra state politics, Sharad Pawar's daughter Supriya Sule has been considered his true dynastic heir. Sule was made a Rajya Sabha member in 2006 and inherited the Baramati Lok Sabha seat from her father in 2009. Even though Baramati has been an NCP stronghold for years, Supriya managed to retain the seat by a relatively small margin of just 69,000 votes.

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