Taking a moral high ground at a time when the BJP has also come under attack for “parivarvaad” politics, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday recalled he had denied a ticket to his son Pankaj Singh, now an MLA from Noida, for contesting Uttar Pradesh assembly polls from Varanasi in 2007.

As BJP president, Rajnath Singh said, he did not want to face allegations of pursuing dynastic politics. Amit Shah, who succeeded Singh as the BJP president, gave Pankaj a ticket in 2017 to contest the assembly polls from Noida, the senior Union Minister stated at a function here.

“At that time, former Chief Minister Kalyan Singh and current Governor of Rajasthan Kalraj Mishra came to me and they suggested that Pankaj Singh can contest from an assembly constituency in Varanasi. At that time, I was the president of the party and I refused. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani who were sitting next to me requested me but I refused both leaders and said that I will not give the ticket to my son with my own hands,” Singh recalled.

By his decision, Singh stated that his son also got upset. “Pankaj came home and touched my feet, I did not give my blessings to him. He was very sad and went and complained to his mother. I clearly said that I cannot not give the symbol to my son with my own hand. After that Pankaj acted with great restraint and said to me ‘Papa, if you don’t want me, I will not contest the elections,” the Defence Minister said.

What dynastic politics means

Clarifying what dynastic politics means, the senior BJP MP from Lucknow elaborated, “Suppose I am the president of a party and have a wish that my son should hold the post after me and later his son ... we call that parivaarwad. PM Modi also clarified dynastic politics in the House (parliament), in which he said that ‘If 8-9 people of a family are active in the politics, we cannot call it parivarvaad, but when a family runs a party and preference is given to a family, that is parivarvaad’. It means that the party does not practice democracy and there should be at least internal democracy in every party”.

For a long time, the BJP has been attacking Congress and other regional parties like the Samajwadi Party of UP and some others in southern India for promoting kith and kin of their top leadership. Modi recently stated that the 2024 elections will mark an end to such politics.