New Delhi, Dec. 8: Daddy, elections are “uncool”.
Five “sons” — children of Congress and BJP leaders, some of whom sat out of the race — had contested the Delhi Assembly elections but only one managed to scrape through, in a message, observers said, could be interpreted as a clear thumbs-down to dynasty politics.
Three of the sons lost to Aam Aadmi Party candidates.
At a time the BJP is tantalisingly close to forming the government in the capital, party veteran Vijay Kumar Malhotra’s son Ajay has lost from Greater Kailash.
Senior Malhotra, who till a few weeks back nursed chief ministerial ambitions, won the seat in 2008 by a margin of 11,000 votes but had opted out this time.
His son Ajay, 52, lost by over 13,000 votes to AAP’s Saurabh Bhardwaj.
Ajay, a businessman, had decided to take the plunge, hoping to take advantage of the hype over Narendra Modi. “We did successfully manage to drive the Congress away but did not anticipate the Aam Aadmi Party would win so many votes,” said one of Ajay’s poll managers who did not want to be named.
Bhardwaj, 34, an engineer, had left his job with a private firm about a year ago to join Arvind Kejriwal’s party. His father had worked briefly with the BJP.
“The candidate did not matter, we voted for Arvind Kejriwal,” said Shikha Johri, a Greater Kailash resident.
Another BJP son who failed to make it is Rajiv Babbar. Rajiv, son of three-time MLA O.P. Babbar, lost from the party’s old bastion, Tilak Nagar, by a little over 2,000 votes to AAP’s Jarnail Singh, a businessman.
The only BJP son who managed to win is Parvesh Sahib Singh, whose father Sahib Singh Verma was a former chief minister of Delhi.
AAP candidate Narinder Singh Sejwal, who has been with Kejriwal since the days of the Jan Lokpal movement, was behind by only 4,564 votes.
Parvesh, however, had been more worried about facing three-time Congress MLA and Assembly Speaker Yoganand Shastri, who finished third. “I thought this seat would be tough because I was facing a Congress bigwig, but the fight went down to the wire with AAP,” he said.
The Congress had fielded Sajjan Kumar’s son Jag Parvesh from Sangam Vihar and MP Mahabal Mishra’s son Vinay from Palam. Both the constituencies have a substantial migrant presence from Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Jag Parvesh came in third behind AAP and BJP candidates, losing despite an aggressive campaign by his father, who is embroiled in a 1984 anti-Sikh riot case.
Vinay Mishra is the only one among the five to have lost to a national party, the BJP, but ended fourth, the worst among the quintet.