Delhi BJP unit finds it tough to dodge dynasty bandwagon
By Tarun Nangia - NEW DELHI
Published: 22nd Sep 2013 10:00:19 AM
It’s son-shine time in the Delhi BJP. In a party that has always been vocal in its disregard for dynastic politics, not one but three sons of former party heavyweights are in the queue for tickets for the forthcoming Assembly elections.
Among the three is Sahib Singh Verma’s son Pravesh, who is lobbying for a ticket from Shalimar Baug. Pravesh hopes to cash in on his father’s goodwill in the party, with Verma Senior having served as Delhi’s chief minister from 1996 to 1998. Verma commanded widespread support among the Jat community, and was elected MP in 1999 and subsequently appointed Union Labour Minister in the BJP-led NDA ministry. He was killed in a car accident on Jaipur highway in June 2007.
Former BJP strongman Madan Lal Khurana’s son Vimal too is eyeing a ticket from Moti Nagar Assembly constituency. BJP leader Subash Sachdeva won this seat in 2003 and 2008. If Vimal has to be given a ticket, either the 57-year-old Sachdeva would have to be accommodated elsewhere or would have to be denied a party ticket, leading to less-than-savoury ramifications. Khurana served as chief minister from 1993 to 1996. He was appointed Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Tourism in the BJP-led NDA government. He was removed from the party in August 2005 on grounds of indiscipline after making statements against then BJP president Lal Krishna Advani. Khurana was later reinstated.
Former Delhi Chief Executive Councillor V.K. Malhotra’s son Ajay may get a ticket from Greater Kailash constituency. Malhotra, who is at present the leader of Opposition in the Assembly, is an MLA from Greater Kailash. He may vacate his seat to accommodate his son.
As senior BJP leaders make efforts to push their son’s political careers by lobbying for tickets for them, the inevitable sniggers about how BJP leaders cannot avoid the lure of dynastic politics have started.
Meanwhile, Delhi in charge Nitin Gadkari, while launching the BJP’s election campaign, said the party has received as many as 1,200 applications for 70 Assembly tickets.
The party was to announce its first list of candidates by September 15. But intense lobbying within the party by various factions has resulted in a delay. It is now likely that the party may announce its list of candidates after the rally of its Prime Ministerial Candidate Narendra Modi in Delhi in September 29.