New Delhi: Young, upwardly mobile and graduates from prestigious schools and foreign universities — they are making their presence felt in the Lok Sabha elections here. Many of them are contesting for for the first time, covering miles of dusty roads every day to woo voters. The most of them belong to known political families of the state.
A glance at many of the affidavits on assets and liabilities, antecedents of candidates appears to make the debate on the need for fixing a minimum educational qualification to contest Parliament or assembly elections a passe. Meet Bhavya Bishnoi, the 26-year-old grandson of former chief minister Bhajan Lal and son of Congress leader Kuldeep Bishnoi. The young Bishnoi is an MSc from St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, England. He is contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Hisar.
Bishnoi is not alone in his league. His contender, sitting Hisar MP Dushyant Chautala, the great grandson of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal, has a Bachelor of Sciences in Business Administration from California State University, Bakersfield, USA. Dushyant Chautala, 31, who is contesting the polls as a candidate of new political outfit Jannayak Janata Party, floated after a split in the Chautalas’ INLD following a bitter family tussle, had gone to prestigious Lawrence School, Sanawar in Himachal Pradesh.
He also has a masters degree in law and mass communication from Indian universities. The Hisar contestants’ list also includes BJP candidate Brijendra Singh, great grandson of Sir Chottu Ram and son of Union Minister Birender Singh.
Birjendra Singh, 46, was a bureaucrat before he decided to jump into the fray for the first time. He did his Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from King’s College, London. He had his schooling from Modern School at Barakhamba Road in New Delhi before graduating from prestigious St Stephen’s College of Delhi University and doing his MA from JNU.
Seeking re-election from Rohtak Lok Sabha seat for a fourth term is 41-year-old Deepender Singh Hooda, son of former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. The younger Hooda had done his schooling from Mayo College, Ajmer before securing a B Tech degree from Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak.
The Congress leader is also an MBA from Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, USA. The JJP has fielded 30-year-old Swati Yadav on Bhiwani-Mahendergarh Lok Sabha seat. An electrical engineer-turned politician, Swati Yadav is testing the political waters for the first time.
She did her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Clemson University, South Carolina, USA following it up with an MBA from the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. Her rivals include Congress’ former MP Shruti Choudhary. The 43-year-old grand daughter of former chief minister Bansi Lal is a law graduate from a prestigious law college.
Entering the fray from Gurgaon seat is Indian National Lok Dal candidate Virender Rana, 46. The richest among the contesting candidates from Haryana, Virender Rana is an MBA from California State University, Hayward, USA. Rana’s rivals include Union Minister and BJP’s sitting MP Rao Inderjit Singh, a law graduate. Rao Inderjit Singh did his schooling from Lawrence School, Sanawar.
Rana’s another rival is JJP’s Mehmud Khan who is a post-graduate from IIM-Ahemedabad. Polling for all the ten Lok Sabha seats in Haryana is scheduled to be held in the sixth phase of polling on May 12.