Even as BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's “shehzada“ refrain continues to irk the Congress, a number of shehzadas are waiting in the UP BJP backyard for a chance to get their share of spotlight in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The most important shehzada in UP BJP is Pankaj Singh, son of BJP president Rajnath Singh.
After two aborted debuts in electoral politics, Pankaj, according to sources, is keen to contest the Lok Sabha polls. He has been touring the state, meeting party workers and connecting with the people since the past two years. There are reports that he may contest the Ghaziabad seat if Rajnath Singh shifts to Lucknow.
Another shehzada waiting in the wings is Anurag Singh, son of former BJP minister Om Prakash Singh. Anurag had contested the 2009 Lok Sabha polls from Mirzapur but had lost.
His father Om Prakash Singh also lost the Assembly polls from Chunar in 2012. Anurag is waiting to regain lost ground and is hopeful of getting the Lok Sabha ticket again.
Former UP BJP president Ramapati Ram Tripathi also has his shehzada Sharad Tripathi waiting to try his luck in the elections. Sharad had unsuccessfully contested the Sant Kabir Nagar seat in 2009 and is confident of pulling through this time.
Former chief minister Kalyan Singh will be contesting his Etah seat on a BJP ticket but there are reports that his son Rajvir Singh may also contest the Lok Sabha elections this time. Kalyan Singh’s daughter-in-law Premlata has already found a place in the party’s state executive and will be preparing for the Assembly polls in the state.
Gopalji Tandon, son of BJP MP Lalji Tandon, had failed to strike gold in the Assembly polls and party sources said that if he gets the ticket, Lalji Tandon may hand him the prestigious Lucknow seat.
With this list of shehzadas-in-waiting in UP BJP, senior Congress leader Siraj Mehndi said that “those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others”.