As BJP, Congress Seniors Race In Himachal, Sons Step Out Of Their Shadow

While Anurag Thakur says he was a reluctant politician, Vikramaditya Singh couldn't wait to be 25 and finally contest polls.

Himachal Pradesh Assembly Election 2017: Anurag Thakur said he never wanted to be a politician

Shimla: As 83-year-old Virbhadra Singh and 73-year-old Prem Kumar Dhumal slug it out for the top job in Himachal Pradesh in what many political observers expect to be their last election, both have their sons waiting in the wings. However, in their personalities and campaigns Vikramaditya Singh and Anurag Thakur could barely be more divergent.

"I never wanted to be a politician, I was the captain of the Under 19 team and the only dream I had was playing for India. But destiny has brought me here," said Anurag Thakur, the son of BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate Prem Kumar Dhumal.

While one says he was a reluctant politician, another couldn't wait to be 25 and finally contest polls.

"This is what I had seen all my life. My father has been in active politics for 60 years, and it's my chance now," Vikramaditya Singh told NDTV.

All of 25 and fondly called "Tikka" in local circles, Mr Singh is making his debut from the Shimla Rural seat. Held by his father, it is one of the Congress's most reliable seats and Mr Singh is mostly counting on his father's image to get votes.

"I have been Youth Congress president but this is my first election. I am asking people to vote for me based on the reputation of beloved Rajaji people have built over the years. I might not have experience but I am a Shimla boy and I have a vision," said Vikramaditya Singh, addressing a gathering in his constituency.

This is in a sharp contrast to Anurag Thakur, who is a rising star of the BJP and more famous than his father among the youth. While Mr Singh is called "Tikka," meaning the "heir" or "inheritor", Mr Thakur refuses to even use his father's second name.

"I am proud of my father but I never wanted to be seen as the one with a silver spoon. Even in cricket, I did not want people to treat me differently because I am the Chief Minister's son. Many people still don't know that Mr Dhumal is my father. In fact my kids also don't take my second name," said Mr Thakur.
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