Sunday, April 21, 2024

Most political families missing in LS poll action in Uttar Pradesh


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Lucknow, March 26: Several political families will be conspicuous by their absence in the Lok Sabha elections in Uttar Pradesh (UP) this time.

For the first time in 25 years, it looks like the Gandhi family will not be a part of elections in UP.

Though the Congress has not yet declared candidates for Amethi and Raebareli — the two seats that are considered Gandhi bastions — there are no indications that senior party leader Rahul Gandhi or his sister Priyanka Gandhi will contest from UP.

Former party chief Rahul Gandhi’s candidature has already been announced from Wayanad in Kerala.

Though UPCC chief Ajay Rai insists that a member of the Gandhi family will contest from UP, sources close to the family say that a party loyalist would be named for both, Amethi and Raebareli seats.

Another family that will not be in the fray is that of former Prime Minister, late Chaudhary Charan Singh. His son Ajit Singh passed away in 2021 and Chaudhary Charan Singh’s grandson Jayant Chaudhary, who took over the reins of the party, is now a Rajya Sabha member and is not contesting the elections.

Most of the royal families of UP are also out of the electoral contest this time. Dr Sanjay Sinh, the erstwhile Raja of Amethi, and his wife Ameeta Sinh, a former MLA, are also not contesting the elections.

Dr Sinh had contested the Sultanpur Lok Sabha seat in 2019 on a Congress ticket but was ranked at the third position. Thereafter, the couple has been keeping a low profile and even their supporters are unsure of their political future now.

Another political family that will be missing in action in UP is Begum Noor Bano, who belongs to the erstwhile royal family of Rampur, and her son Nawab Kazim Ali. Both are not contesting polls this year.

Senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise Khurshid will also be missing in action during the election.

Salman Khurshid’s Farrukhabad seat has been given to the Samajwadi Party in the seat sharing agreement and Khurshid made his displeasure amply clear in a social media post recently.

A family that has been forced by circumstances to bow out of the electoral arena is that of Mukhtar Ansari. Ansari has been in jail since 2005 and though he had been contesting and winning elections from behind bars, his conviction in eight cases will not allow him to contest polls this time.

His brother Sibgatullah Ansari, a former MLA, has taken a sabbatical from politics and his son Abbas Ansari, also a sitting MLA, is in jail.

Mukhtar’s eldest brother Afzal Ansari, however, has been named as a candidate from Ghazipur Lok Sabha seat by the Samajwadi Party.

The family of erstwhile don and former minister, late Hari Shankar Tiwari, is also out of the election scene. His younger son and former MLA Vinay Shankar Tiwari is in the ED net while the elder son Bhishm Shankar Tiwari, a former MP, is not contesting the polls this time.

The Tiwari family wields considerable influence in eastern UP, especially over Brahmin voters, and their absence in elections could change the caste arithmetic to an extent.

Azam Khan and his family will also not be visible in the elections in the Rampur Lok Sabha seat. Azam Khan and his son Abdullah Azam are in jail and his wife Tanzeem Fatima, a former MP, has not shown any inclination to contest the elections.

The only family that will be seen in full force in the upcoming elections is the Yadav family. The candidature of Dimple Yadav from Mainpuri, Shivpal Yadav from Budaun, Akshay Yadav from Firozabad and Dharmendra Yadav from Azamgarh has already been announced and sources say that Akhilesh Yadav could contest the polls from Kannauj.



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