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UP Election 2022: Former PM Chandrashekhar's son faces backlash for backing BJP

Neeraj Shekhar, son of the former prime minister Chandrashekhar is working for the BJP in this Assembly elections. 

PTI Reported by: PTI Ballia Published on: March 01, 2022 16:38 IST
UP election 2022, Neeraj Shekhar, Chandrashekhar, former prime minister, BJP, Ravishankar Singh Papp
Image Source : PTI

The family members of socialist leader and former prime minister Chandrashekhar are canvassing for the BJP in the ongoing UP election. 


  • Neeraj Shekhar faces backlash over his supporting BJP
  • Neeraj Shekhar is the son of former Indian prime minister Chandrashekhar
  • PM Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh paid tributes to Chandrashekhar during rallies in UP

The ongoing Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh is witnessing some family members of socialist leader and former prime minister Chandrashekhar canvassing for the BJP, which their critics described as an "opportunistic" move. Chandrashekhar's native village is Ibrahimpatti located in Bilthara Road assembly constituency under the Salempur Lok Sabha constituency here.

Neeraj Shekhar, son of the former prime minister, and Chandrashekhar's grandson Ravishankar Singh 'Pappu' are working for the BJP in this Assembly elections. "The BJP after its establishment in 1980 has been taking forward the ideology of socialism. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always been giving respect to Chandrashekhar ji," Neeraj Shekhar told PTI.

Asked as to why he was supporting the BJP, a party Chandrashekhar always opposed, Neeraj Shekhar did not give a direct reply. "I am happy that the entire family is in the one-party -- the BJP. Ideologically, I am a socialist, and now, socialism is only present in the BJP." Neeraj had been a two-time Lok Sabha MP from Ballia before he lost the 2014 Lok Sabha elections to the BJP's Bharat Singh.

After this, he was sent to Rajya Sabha by the Samajwadi Party. However, in 2019, Neeraj Shekhar switched over to the BJP angry over the SP not giving a Lok Sabha ticket., The BJP sent him to the Upper House. Chandrashekhar's grandson Ravishankar Singh 'Pappu', who had joined the BJP before the Assembly elections, told PTI, "Socialism is not the fiefdom of any one party. The BJP is taking forward the socialism, which Chandrashekhar made efforts to defend.

Recently, during the election meetings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid tributes to the former prime minister in their speeches. However, old-timers, who were associated with Chandrashekhar, reject the reasons given by the former PM’s kin for them to join the BJP. Kamlesh Singh, former chairman of the district co-operative bank who was also associated with the former PM, told PTI, "Chandrashekhar had always opposed the communal policies of the BJP. Owing to his principles, he set aside his good relationship with former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and never supported the BJP."

He added that during the vote of confidence in 1999, he did not support the then Vajpayee government, and it fell by one vote.  "Today, his heirs are terming the BJP as a socialist by birth ('janmajaat samajwadi), and are campaigning for the BJP. This is the height of opportunism."  Akhilesh Singh, the principal of Sri Murli Manohar Town Inter College who has penned a book on the life and thoughts of Chandrashekhar, said, “The former PM opposed the BJP and the other fascist forces.

Chandrashekhar and his family members had never supported the BJP. “But, now it is his heirs who are campaigning for the party (BJP), against whom he always fought. For them, opportunistic behaviour has become more important." Ballia will go to the polls in the sixth phase of the elections and will vote on March 3. 

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