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Not a product of nepotism, not entering politics because had nowhere to go: Brijendra Singh

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: April 24, 2019  | 16:53 IST

By Gunjan Sharma (Eds: Changes in intro and para 2) Hisar (Haryana), Apr 24 (PTI) Union minister Chaudhary Birender Singh's son and BJP candidate from Hisar Brijendra Singh has said he should not be seen as a "product of nepotism" and he did not join politics because he had "nowhere to go". Making his electoral debut after quitting a two-decade-old bureaucratic career, Brijendra Singh, 46, however, admitted that he does come from an "influential political family". The great grandson of Chhotu Ram, the illustrious farmer leader, Brijendra Singh has always been seen as a successor to the political heritage of the family. However, according to him, his decision to make his poll debut in 2019 elections was not a "calculated move". "I should not be seen as product of nepotism. I do come from an influential political family which has been in existence for over a century. But it's not that I am joining mainstream politics because I had nowhere to go. I had charted my own path in which I fairly succeeded," Brijendra Singh told PTI in an interview. After BJP announced his candidature from Hisar, his father, the Union steel minister, had offered to resign from Cabinet and Rajya Sabha but the party has not taken any decision yet. The 73-year-old minister said he was doing this to send a message against "dynasty politics". His son, a graduate from St Stephen's college, cleared the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) examination in 1989, securing the ninth rank. He said it was an issue of identity for him. "For me getting into civil services and clearing the exam was an identity issue, so once I qualified for that there was this sense of ease and fulfilment and I continued in the service for two decades. I come from a political family, so I was certainly interested in politics before as well, however, timing of this was not a calculated move,” he said. After serving in multiple top-level positions in Haryana government for 21 years, Brijendra Singh last week took voluntary retirement from HAFED where he was employed as the MD. His mother, Prem Lata, is a BJP MLA in Haryana. Asked about the Jat reservation issue which rocked the constituency three years ago and led to a riot-like situation, Brijendra Singh said "people have gotten over it". “One has to concede that the way Jat agitation happened and the way it turned violent, it was of concern to all of us. It had the potential to create a wedge in the society. It has been quite some time, almost 3 years, and the social structure is attaining normalcy. “From the administrative perspective may be the reservation agitations could have been handled better. While the incidents were really unfortunate but we have gotten over it,” he said. Pitted against sitting MP and heavyweight Dushyant Chautala and Kuldeep Bishnoi's son Bhavya Bishnoi, who is also making his electoral debut, Brijendra Singh does not see “much of a challenge”. “The wave is even better than 2014 as far as Haryana is concerned. There is an inclination among people to vote for Modi. While no election should be taken lightly but there does not seem to be much of a challenge despite the fact that we have the sitting MP from here in the race and the Congress candidate comes from a highly influential political family,” he said. Hisar, the industrial hub of Haryana, will go to polls along with 9 other constituencies of the state on May 12. PTI GJS ABH ABH

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