Bihar is witnessing several young leaders this time on the frontline as it elects its next government in the three-phased polls, the country's biggest amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Actor-turned-politician Luv Sinha, following his father and Congress leader Shatrughan Sinha's footsteps, is one such leader.
A Congress pick, Luv Sinha makes his poll debut from Bankipore assembly constituency, which is a part of the Patna Sahib Lok Sabha constituency that elected his father twice to the parliament.
Luv Sinha, who had a not-so successful Bollywood stint, has been fielded against BJP leader Nitin Navin, a three-time MLA.
Shatrughan Sinha was elected as an MP from the Patna Sahib constituency when he was with the BJP. Last year, after a long spell of open criticism against the party, he had joined the Congress. "In the one-man show, two-man army, everything happens from Prime Minister's Office... the ministers can't work freely anyway. We have seen how democracy turned into autocracy," the seasoned Bollywood actor had said at the time. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, he lost Patna Sahib - a traditional BJP stronghold - to senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad.
His 37-year-old son, however, has made it clear that he is ready to give a tough fight to the BJP. "It (the constituency) is a BJP bastion, they have all the money power and organisational power in the world right now. Does that mean you don't contest? No, it means you contest and do your best. The public will decide and we will have to accept their decision," Luv Sinha told news agency PTI earlier this month.
He said the Congress chose him because he had been working with his father in the constituency since 2009, adding that his decision to contest the election is "not to avenge his father's defeat, but to work for the people."
Luv Sinha's mother - actor-politician Poonam Saxena - last year was the Samajwadi Party's candidate for the 2019 national election from Lucknow, where Union Minister Rajnath Singh won.
The state elections in Bihar that will see the participation of over 7 crore people began today. The second phase will be held on November 3 and the last phase will be held on November 7; votes will be counted on November 10.
Several young leaders are at the forefront. Ex-chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav's son - Tejashwi Yadav, 31, - is leading the Grand Alliance of the opposition parties. Chirag Paswan, 37, is going solo after parting ways with three-time chief minister Nitish Kumar's JDU.
(With inputs from PTI)