UP leaders who remain devoted fathers in these Lok Sabha elections

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UP leaders who remain devoted fathers in these Lok Sabha elections

Lucknow:  They are well-known politicians, have a statewide appeal and yet, in these elections, they have chosen to play the role of a devoted father before anything else and have restricted themselves to one constituency.

These leaders have been managing the campaigns of their children, working out strategies and reaching out to their followers without bothering about campaigning in other constituencies where they have a following.

Shivpal Singh Yadav is among the tallest leaders in the Samajwadi Party, after Akhilesh Yadav. He chose to give up his claim on the Budaun seat so that his son Aditya Yadav could make his political debut from there.

Shivpal focussed all his time and energy in working out Aditya’s campaign in Budaun by taking complete control of poll management. He worked out all details of booth management, leaving Aditya free to campaign.

Shivpal also made sure that he got feedback from all parts of the constituency and made up for lapses, if any. Till polling day on Tuesday, Shivpal remained in Budaun.

“In between, I have been visiting Mainpuri, particularly Jaswantnagar which is my Assembly seat, to ensure that Dimple Yadav wins with a handsome margin. Mainpuri is family for me and keeping Netaji’s (Mulayam Singh Yadav’s) legacy intact is also our responsibility,” he said.

Another doting father is Om Prakash Rajbhar, President of Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) and UP minister, whose son Arvind Rajbhar is contesting the Ghosi seat, given to the SBSP by the BJP.

Rajbhar has stationed himself in Ghosi and is working overtime to ensure his son’s success. Rajbhar claims to wield influence over the Rajbhar community that has a sizeable presence in 30-50 Assembly segments.

Eastern UP has 18 per cent Rajbhars, who are mostly landless workers. In some Assembly constituencies of the state, the Rajbhar population is 35 per cent or more. However, this time, Arvind Rajbhar is facing tough competition from Rajiv Rai of the SP-Congress alliance.

The Mukhtar Ansari factor is also working in the constituency since his son Abbas Ansari holds the Mau Assembly segment, which is a part of the Ghosi Lok Sabha seat.

Incidentally, Abbas Ansari won on a SBSP ticket but after the Yogi Adityanath Government cracked down on Mukhtar Ansari’s empire, Rajbhar conveniently distanced himself from the family.

The Ghosi seat was won by the BSP in 2019 and goes to polls on June 1 in the seventh phase of elections.

Another UP minister who is focussing on his son’s election is Sanjay Nishad who heads the Nishad Party. His son Parveen Nishad is seeking re-election on a BJP ticket from Sant Kabir Nagar and Sanjay Nishad is concentrating on ensuring his son’s victory.

Polling in Sant Kabir Nagar is scheduled to take place on May 25 in phase 6 of the Lok Sabha elections.

Senior Congress leader PL Punia’s son, Tanuj Punia is contesting the Barabanki seat. PL Punia lost the seat in 2014 and his son faced defeat in 2019. PL Punia is making sure that there is perfect coordination between the local Samajwadi cadres and the Congress workers so that his son reaches the winning post this time.

Barabanki will go to polls on May 13 in the fourth phase of elections.

Kaushambi that goes to polls on May 20, has another father Inderjit Saroj, working for his son Pushpendra Saroj who is making his political debut.

Inderjit Saroj is a senior SP leader and his son is contesting on a SP ticket. Having just returned from London where he was studying, 25-year-old Pushpendra is being guided by his father — a five term MLA —about the ways of campaigning.

The father is supervising the son’s campaign to make sure that he reaches the Lok Sabha in his first attempt.

Priya Saroj, a lawyer by profession, is contesting the Machhlishahr Lok Sabha seat on a Samajwadi ticket.

Her father Toofani Saroj is the MLA from Kerakat Assembly seat in the same constituency.

He is managing her entire campaign and making sure that she visits every nook and corner of the constituency where polling is scheduled to be held on May 25.

Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, the BJP MP from Kaiserganj who was denied a ticket following the controversy over the sexual harassment of women wrestlers, is now working for his son, Karan Bhushan Singh, who has replaced him. Though Singh denies that he is managing his son’s campaign, people close to him say that the senior leader closely monitors Karan’s campaign and schedule without moving out of his house.

“He knows that his son will win on his ‘goodwill’ but is still not taking chances,” said a source close to Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Kaiserganj goes to polls on May 5 in the fifth phase of elections.


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