Rahul Gandhi and other dynasts have a lot to think about post-Lok Sabha elections 2019. Surely the sheer scale of Narendra Modi’s victory must have numbed them.
But what should add another line of worry on yet unlined foreheads of dynasts is that the Modi wave 2.0 has nearly decimated dynasts. Is it the beginning of the end?
Let’s start at the top, with the Gandhi family.
Rahul Gandhi has done the unthinkable lost the family borough of Amethi. Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate Smriti Irani won the 2019 polls by 55,120 votes. In 2014 Rahul Gandhi had won the Amethi seat by 1,07,903 votes. His main rival then too was Irani.
Amethi has been a Congress stronghold since 1967. The constituency holds a special place for Congressmen. In 1980 Sanjay Gandhi, Rahul’s uncle, made his Lok Sabha debut from there.
It was also the seat from where Rajiv Gandhi launched his political career in 1981 as did Sonia Gandhi in 1999. Rahul Gandhi himself was first elected to parliament from Amethi in 2004 and then was re-elected in 2009 and 2014.
There has also been a dent in another Congress stronghold Raebareli. Since 1952, except for three terms, it has returned a Congress candidate.
Firoz Gandhi (Rahul’s grandfather) was elected from there in 1957. Indira Gandhi (Rahul’s grandmother) was first elected from Amethi in 1967 and then again in 1971.
Sonia Gandhi became Raebareli MP in 2004 and has since won in 2009, 2014 and 2019. But the Modi effect can be seen as her margin this year has halved compared to her 2014 one.
In the last Lok Sabha election, she won by 3,52,713 votes. This year the margin has come to 1,67,178.
The other Gandhi who has not covered herself with glory is Priyanka. Post-results we can safely say her introduction in Uttar Pradesh was short of a disaster. Except for Sonia, Rahul and Sriprakash Jaiswal (from Kanpur), every Congress candidate she campaigned for in UP came third or lower.
Priyanka Gandhi (Photo: PTI)
Priyanka Gandhi loyalists will have excuses but the dent she was supposed to make in BJP’s chances did not happen. Instead, she took away chunks of votes from the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party alliance. She was in charge of 40 seats of which Congress managed to win just one (Raebareli). Candidates chosen by her fared very poorly.
Down in UP
Another political family that felt the impact of the Narendra Modi wave was the Yadav family. Mulayam Singh Yadav (Mainpuri), his son Akhilesh (Azamgarh), daughter-in-law Dimple (Kannauj), cousin Shivpal Yadav, nephews Akshay Yadav (Firozabad) and Dharmendra Yadav (Badaun) were in the fray.
Mulayam Singh managed to retain his Mainpuri seat though with a vastly reduced margin. Akhilesh Yadav managed to win Azamgarh comfortably by over 2.5 lakh votes. And that’s where the good news ends for the Yadav family.
In pocket boroughs of Kannauj, Firozabad and Badaun the Samajwadi Party has lost, though the fight went down to the wire in all three cases. Samajwadi Party may complain that the introduction of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra in the Congress campaign did not help as she took away Muslim and anti-BJP floating votes.
In Uttar Pradesh, another dynasty that found itself swept away by Narendra Modi is the one founded by Jat strongman and farmer leader Charan Singh. He had been prime minister and a two-time UP chief minister.
Both his son (Ajit Singh) and grandson (Jayant Chaudhary) fought the 2019 Lok Sabha seats. Both lost.
Ajit Singh, with his grandson Jayant Chaudhary. (Photo: Getty Images)
Baghpat is considered Charan Singh territory. His hold over farmers and Jats was legendary. He was elected to Lok Sabha thrice from Baghpat 1977, 1980 and 1984. His son Ajit Singh won Lok Sabha elections from there in 1989, 1991, 1996. 1999, 2004 and 2009.
Ajit Singh’s son Jayant Chaudhary was the mahagathbandhan candidate from Baghpat this year. He lost to BJP’s Satyapal Singh by 23,502 votes.
Ajit Singh, standing from Muzaffarnagar, lost to BJP’s Sanjeev Balyan by 6,526 votes.
Hurricane in Haryana
The other political dynasty that fared poorly in the 2017 Lok Sabha elections and faced the brunt of the Modi wave was the Devi Lal one in Haryana.
Both the sons of Ajay Singh Chautala grandson of former deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal fought the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. While Digvijay contested from Sonipat, his brother stood from Hisar. The brothers were candidates of Jannayak Janta Party.
The third Chautala who contested this season was Arjun Chautala from Kurukshetra. Arjun is the son of Abhay Singh Chautala, younger brother of Ajay Singh. Arjun Chautala was Indian national Lok Dal candidate.
All three Chautala cousins fared poorly against BJP candidates who were riding on the Modi wave.
The other dynasty biting the dust in Haryana is the Hooda clan. Congress heavyweight and two-time Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his son Deepender, a three-time MP both lost to BJP candidates.
While the senior Hooda fought from Sonipat, his son lost from Rohtak.
Incidentally, BJP swept all 10 seats in Haryana.
And the other losers
The Modi tsunami also swept away some big names from political families. Perhaps the biggest is Jyotiraditya Scindia from Guna.
Jyotiraditya Scindia. (Photo: PTI)
The Scindia family have won the Guna parliamentary seat 14 times in 20 elections. Jyotiraditya himself won the seat four consecutive times, starting from 2002. Before that, his father Madhavrao Scindia, a Congress heavyweight, represented the seat from 1971 to 1984 and then later from 1999 to his untimely death in 2002. Madhavrao Scindia’s mother Vijaya Raje was Guna MP from 1989 to 1999.
Another big gun who’ll not make it to the 17th Lok Sabha is HD Deve Gowda, a former PM and Janata Dal (Secular) president. He lost from Tumkur. His grandson Nikhil Kumaraswamy lost from Mandya. But the silver lining is the win of the other grandson Prajwal Revanna from Hassan.
Misa Bharti, daughter of former Bihar CM and Union minister Lalu Prasad, was defeated by BJP’s Ram Kripal Yadav in the Pataliputra seat.
Misa Bharti (Photo: facebook.com/bhartimisa)
In Maharashtra, Sharad Pawar saw his daughter Supriya Sule retain the Baramati seat, but his great-nephew Parth Pawar lost in Maval. It’s for the first time that a Pawar contested and lost a major election in 50 years.