As Bihar Goes to Polls, Here’s How Dynasty Politics Continues to Rule the Roost

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Earlier this month, JD(U) gave a stern response to the repeated attacks made by LJP chief Chirag Paswan on its leader Nitish Kumar. A day after the LJP chief announced his party’s decision to go solo in the assembly polls, citing ideological differences with JD(U), Rajiv Ranjan said that Chirag undertook his political journey under the shadow of his father.

Ranjan said that Chirag Paswan had no standing of his own nor the acumen to grasp the issues on the ground.

“It is a fact that in dynasty politics, people end up harbouring huge ambitions without making much contributions”, JD(U) spokesman Rajiv Ranjan Prasad told the media, referring to Chirag Paswan.

The issue of dynasty politics has been a subject of intense political debate, with representatives of each party accusing leaders of other parties of promoting their kin. The JD(U), which accused Chirag Paswan, itself has several party members whose parents or grandparents have left behind for them a hefty political legacy.

In fact, JD(U) has absorbed many of them from other parties in the last few weeks and will field them from various seats in the upcoming elections in the state.

News18 looks at various political parties that are fighting the upcoming polls with the help of one or more members from Bihar’s various political families. This is by no means an exhaustive list and is likely to only expand with parties declaring their remaining candidates for the polls.

JD(U)

Chandrika Rai, son of former Chief Minister of Bihar, Daroga Prasad Rai has been nominated by the JD(U) from his traditional Parsa assembly seat. The six-time MLA quit the RJD after a bitter fallout with the Yadav family, to join JD(U) last month. Chandrika Rai is also the father of Aishwarya, who was married to Lalu Prasad Yadav’s elder son Tej Pratap and has now sought divorce from him.

Meena Kamat, daughter-in-law of Kapil Deo Kamat, who served as Panchayati Raj minister in the last state cabinet headed by Nitish Kumar has been given a ticket. Although JD(U) denied the ticket to Kapil Deo this time, it has given her daughter-in-law a ticket from the seat from Kapil Deo’s Babubarhi seat in Madhubani.

Nikhil Mandal, grandson of BP Mandal, the first non-Congress Chief Minister of Bihar and chairperson of the backward classes commission, also known as BP Mandal Commission, is fighting from Madhepura. His father was also a two-time MLA.

Faraz Fatmi, who has been given a ticket from Darbhanga rural seat, is the son of Ex-HRD Minister, Mohd Ali Ashraf Fatmi, and was, along with his father, a member of RJD till last month when he switched over to JD(U). Jaivardhan Singh Yadav, who also switched over from the RJD last month, and has been given a ticket from the Paliganj seat, from where he won on RJD symbol in 2015, is the grandson of former Bihar minister and a powerful Yadav leader Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav. Ram Lakhan Singh Yadav is also known as ‘Sher-e-Bihar’ and has been a Union cabinet minister.

LJP

Chirag Paswan, who is the current chief of LJP, is believed to have inherited the party that his father — a mass leader of Dalits in Bihar — built after spearheading many social justice movements for decades. Pashupati Kumar Paras, Ram Vilas’s brother, is an MP from Paswan’s traditional Hajipur Lok Sabha seat in Bihar and a senior functionary in the LJP.

Prince Paswan, is the son of Ram Vilas’ other deceased brother, Ram Chandra Paswan. After Ram Chandra’s death in July last year, LJP fielded his son, Prince, successfully from Samastipur, the seat held by his father.

RJD

Tejashwi Yadav, the CM face of Mahagathbandhan, is the younger son of former chief minister couple of Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Yadav. He is contesting from Raghopur, while his elder brother Tej Pratap Yadav is fighting from Hasanpur assembly seat.

Sudhakar Singh, son of state president and a prominent Rajput leader Jagadanand Singh. Sudhakar Singh’s case is perhaps the only one of its kind. It is said that Jaganand Singh, a man of principles who rose to the centre stage in Bihar politics by working closely with stalwarts like Ram Manohar Lohia and Karpoori Thakur, opposed the candidature of his own son, when RJD expressed desire to field his son from Ramgarh assembly seat. Jagadanand Singh is said to have been a strong opponent of dynasty politics. Miffed with this, his son went on to join BJP to contest from the same seat. Jagadanand Singh campaigned on the side of the RJD candidate and played a big role in the eventual loss of his son. 10 years later Sudhakar Singh is now fighting from the same seat of Ramgarh, this time with his father on his side, in this assembly polls.

Rishi Singh, son of former union minister and president of RJD’s women’s cell, Kanti Singh, has been fielded from Obra assembly seat, while Rahul Tiwari, the son of RJD’s vice-president and senior leader, Shivanand Tiwari, has been fielded from Shahpur seat.

Divya Prakash, who has been fielded from Tarapur assembly constituency, is the daughter of former Union minister Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav. Vijay Prakash, brother of Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav, has been given a ticket to fight from Jamui assembly seat.

Veena Singh, the wife of strongman Rama Kishore Singh, a former MP who has a series of charges against him, ranging from murder to kidnapping, has been fielded from the Mahnar seat in Vaishali district. Rama Singh had won from Vaishali Lok Sabha seat in 2014 and was, against opposition by senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, recently inducted in the party.

Vibha Devi has been fielded from Nawada seat after her husband, jailed RJD leader Raj Ballabh Yadav, was imprisoned for life for raping a minor. Similarly, the party has fielded Kiran Devi, the wife of Arun Yadav, who was elected last time from Sandesh, and who is currently on the run after being accused of rape by a minor.

BJP

The party recently inducted ace India shooter, Shreyasi Singh, daughter of former union minister Divijay Singh, and gave her a ticket from Jamui. Satya Prasad Singh, the son of recently deceased senior RJD leader and former union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, recently joined BJP.

Vivek Thakur, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member is the son of former union minister and Rajya Sabha member CP Thakur. According to reports, the party is considering giving Sanjeev Chaurasia, who won from Digha assembly seat last time, a chance to fight polls from the same constituency again. He is the son of former BJP leader and present governor of Sikkim Ganga Prasad Chaurasia.

Congress

Shubhanand Singh, the son of Congress Legislature Party leader in Bihar assembly Sadanand Singh, has been fielded from their traditional Kahangaon seat in Bhagalpur. Meanwhile, Shashi Shekhar Singh who is fighting from Gaya’s Wazirganj seat is the son of Congress leader Awadhesh Kumar Singh.

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