Ram Jethmalani’s records

The  late Ram Bulchand Jethmalani was born on Sep 14, 1923 and thus passed away a few days short of what would have been his 96th birthday. While formerly a Rajya Sabha member of the BJP in 2010-16, he was now representing Bihar on an RJD ticket. He was the oldest Rajya Sabha member at this time, and may well have been the oldest ever Rajya Sabha member.

Here is the “seniority list” of current RS members:

https://rajyasabha.nic.in/rsnew/member_site/memage.aspx

The oldest member now is Motilal Vora at 90, followed by Manmohan Singh a little short of 87.

In the present Lok Sabha, the oldest member now is Shafiqur Rahman Barq representing the SP, from Sambhal (UP). He is 89.

http://loksabhaph.nic.in/Members/MemberBioprofile.aspx?mpsno=3657

While HD Deve Gowda did not get elected to this Lok Sabha, he is younger than Mr Barq as he is now 86.

In the previous Lok Sabha, the oldest member appears to have been LK Advani, born in Nov 1927 and was thus 91+ at the time his term was completed in May 2019.

Coming back to the Rajya Sabha, older references mention the oldest member to have been Rishang Keishing of Manipur, who was 93 when he left the Rajya Sabha in 2014. He had earlier been the Chief Minister of Manipur.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rishang_Keishing

So it appears that Ram Jethmalani was the oldest ever member of the Rajya Sabha, and perhaps the oldest from both houses of parliament.

His daughter Rani was also a lawyer of some repute, but had passed away in 2012.

There would be several parliamentarians who lived to a greater age, such as Morarji Desai and Gulzarilal Nanda who both crossed 99.

Politicians of the Doon School-June 2019

After the dust had died down from the general elections of 2019, we take a roll call of persons connected with the Doon School who are active members of Parliament and Assemblies today.

Elected to Lok Sabha:

Rahul Gandhi (INC, Kerala, Waynad)

Dushyant Singh (BJP, Rajasthan, Jhalawar-Baran)

Nakul Nath (INC, MP, Chhindwara); first-timer

The highest victory margin was by Dushyant Singh (4.54 lakh) followed by Rahul Gandhi (4.31 lakh).

Incumbents who lost in Lok Sabha elections:

Rahul Gandhi (INC, UP, Amethi)

Jyoti Scindia (INC, MP, Guna)

Kalikesh Deo (BJD, OR, Bolangir)

Bharatendra Singh (BJP, UP, Bijnor)

Raghav Lakhanpal (BJP, UP, Saharanpur)

The smallest margins of loss were by Kalikesh Deo (0.19 lakh), and Raghav Lakhanpal (0.22 lakh).

At least two formerly prominent MPs from UP lost their deposits as they failed to cross the 1/6 threshold.

Elected to Vidhan Sabha:

Naveen Patnaik (BJP, OR); continues as CM since 2000.

Kamal Nath (INC, MP); By election; continues as CM since 2018. Was in Lok Sabha until recently.

Also in Vidhan Sabha:

Amarinder Singh (INC, PB): continues as CM since 2017.

Manpreet Badal (INC, PB): continues as state finance minister.

Jaivardhan Singh (INC, MP)

(and a few others who are lesser known).

Current Rajya Sabha members:

None.

Another interesting sideline is to look at close relatives of Doon School alumni. These include non-alumni who are parents, spouses, siblings and children of alumni.

Elected to Lok Sabha:

Preneet Kaur (INC, PB, Patiala)

Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD, PB, Bathinda); continues as Minister of State

Jagdambika Pal (BJP, UP, Domariyaganj)

Varun Gandhi (BJP, UP, Pilibhit)

Sonia Gandhi (INC, UP, Rae Bareli)

Maneka Gandhi (BJP, UP, Sultanpur)

Diya Kumari (BJP, RJ, Rajsamand); first-timer

The highest winning margin was 5.52 lakh by Diya Kumari.

Incumbents who lost:

Moon Moon Sen (Mrs Dev Varma), (TMC, Asansol, WB)

Current Rajya Sabha Members:

RK Sinha (BJP, BH)

Ahmed Patel (INC, GJ)

Digvijaya Singh (INC, MP); former CM

PL Punia (INC, UP)

Also in Vidhan Sabha:

Vasundhara Raje (BJP, RJ); former CM and Lok Sabha member.

and a few others who are lesser known.

Also note: Of the above relatives, those who studied at well-known schools include Maneka Gandhi (Sanawar) and Digvijaya Singh (Daly).

There is a BJP MP from RJ named Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. He is not the same as our Gajendra Singh Khimsar who was an MLA and state minister in RJ until recently.

 

 

 

The school which has the most MPs in India

It used to be said that alumni of Eton and Winchester dominated the higher reaches of politics, the armed forces, the civil services and even the clergy in Britain. That has been well documented. The combination of Eton/Winchester and Oxbridge was supposed to be unbeatable till at least the 1950s. Later the prominent grammar schools and LSE were grudgingly added.

Not many prominent Old Etonians in Indian politics, though there is the late King Birendra of Nepal. There is also Gaj Singh, the nominal ruler of Jodhpur who has served a term in the Rajya Sabha besides diplomatic posts.

Not Old Wykehamists either, though there were several British civil servants who were prominent in India. Also M.A.K. Pataudi and Saif Ali Khan.

Harrow is a little below the two schools above. But it does have a number of politicians, such as Shashi Tharoor’s bete noire Winston Churchill. And of course, the present PM’s favorite scapegoat Jawaharlal Nehru.

In the US, the school where one studied is not so relevant but the university is. Here, the magic names are Harvard and Yale:

https://www.bestcolleges.com/features/most-us-presidents/

However, there is one school in India which appears to have the most representation in Parliament even in 2019. The information given below is taken from the official websites. Identify the dynasts if you wish.

http://loksabhaph.nic.in/Members/AlphabeticalList.aspx

https://rajyasabha.nic.in/rsnew/member_site/memberlist.aspx

LOK SABHA MEMBERS AS ON APRIL 15 2019:

(Old boys listed in the school’s official publications):

Most of them are expected to be contesting the 2019 elections.

Rahul Gandhi (INC, Amethi, UP)

Raghav Lakhanpal (BJP, Saharanpur, UP)

Kamal Nath (INC, Chhindwara, MP). Recently became Chief Minister of MP.

Jyotiraditya Scindia (INC, Guna, MP)

Dushyant Singh (BJP, Jhalawar-Baran, RJ)

K. Bharatendra Singh (BJP, Bijnor, UP)

Kalikesh N. Singh Deo (BJD, Bolangir, OR)

Footnote: Kamal Nath is Raghav Lakhanpal’s father’s sister’s husband (Phuphaji).

Many OB politicians in Punjab are related, including members of the prominent Badal, Brar and Kairon families.

RAJYA SABHA MEMBERS AS ON APRIL 15 2019:

(None)

Now it gets more interesting. We now look at those who are close relatives (i.e. parents, spouses, siblings or children of Old Boys).

Back to the LOK SABHA MEMBERS AS ON APRIL 15 2019:

Maneka Gandhi (BJP, Pilibhit, UP); Minister. She studied at Sanawar.

Sonia Gandhi (INC, Rae Bareli, UP)

Harsimrat Kaur Badal (SAD, Bathinda, PB); Minister of State.

Varun Gandhi (BJP, Sultanpur, UP)

Jagdambika Pal (BJP, Domariyaganj, UP)

Prem Das Rai (SDP, Sikkim). The SDP is part of NDA. He studied at Wynberg Allen. Is supposed to be the only MP who has graduated from an IIT and an IIM.

Moon Moon Sen (Mrs Dev Varma) (TMC, Bankura, WB)

And those who are RAJYA SABHA MEMBERS AS ON APRIL 15 2019:

Ahmed Patel (INC, GJ)

PL Punia (INC, UP)

RK Sinha (BJP, BH)

Digvijaya Singh (INC, MP) He studied at Daly College.

Bonus: Old Boys who are Chief Ministers as on April 15, 2019

Kamal Nath (INC, MP). Elected in 2018. Was Lok Sabha MP from Chhindwara until very recently.

Naveen Patnaik (BJD, OR). Facing re-election in 2019.

Amarinder Singh (INC, PB). Elected in 2017. Was also Lok Sabha MP from Amritsar in 2014-2017.

Is this something for which Old Boys of this school should pat their own backs? I don’t know.

 

Elections in 2017 Part 2-The Rajya Sabha

Supporters of the present NDA government often say that they are hampered by not having a majority in the Rajya Sabha. At least 10 Rajya Sabha seats are due for election  according to the schedule given below. Some more may fall vacant (for instance, Mithun Chakravarthy, a TC member from Bengal, has announced his resignation a few days back).

As we will see in a moment, there will be no significant change in the composition of the Rajya Sabha in 2017, regardless of the assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and elsewhere.

This table was compiled from the official website of the Rajya Sabha, from where we can deduce who will retire in 2017.

http://164.100.47.5/newmembers/MemlistElDate.aspx

We get this list:

rajya-sabha-2017

Only Goa’s Assembly will have changed while Gujarat and West Bengal would remain the same at the time of the Rajya Sabha elections in July-August.

In Goa, the one seat held by the INC may go to the BJP (or perhaps the AAP if something very peculiar happens).

In Bengal, the 6 seats are held by the Trinamul (4), INC (1) and CPM (1). Looking at the present constitution of the assembly these seats are likely to go to the same parties (though the CPM is the only one in some danger of losing its seat).

In Gujarat, the 3 seats going for election this year include 2 held by the BJP and 1 by the INC. The elections in August are likely to give the same result.

So one would have to look beyond 2017 to see any significant change in the composition of the Rajya Sabha.

Also, the elections for the President and Vice President are due in July and August respectively and will probably be held before the Rajya Sabha elections described above (though the results of the latter hardly matter).

It may be a source of worry to the NDA that they may not have sufficient strength in the electoral college to be sure of getting their preferred Presidential candidate elected. By then, the assembly elections for UP, Punjab and 3 smaller states will have taken place and present indications are that the NDA will not gain significantly.

This is also apparent for the Vice-Presidential election where the electoral college consists of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members only.

So 2017 will be a year of numerous elections but, barring some completely unexpected events, they may not result in significant changes to the relative strengths of the main parties and alliances.

 

Looking ahead to India’s elections in 2017-Part 1

These are the Assembly elections due to take place in 2017:

state-assembly-2017

Knowing the end dates of the Assembly terms and the way that the Election Commission has handled things in the recent past, the approximate dates of polling can be predicted. It is too early to make serious predictions on the results.

I have included a column showing the number of Lok Sabha seats for each state. This is to keep things in perspective; even HP and UK do not account for even 1% of the Lok Sabha strength. Thus what happens in these states plus Goa and Manipur are not very significant on the national level. The real battleground is UP and Punjab now, and Gujarat later in the year.

So what difference do these results make to the larger picture? In terms of the Presidential election in July, not much. In terms of the composition of the Rajya Sabha, again not much because the seats up for election in 2017 are primarily from Bengal and Gujarat where there is not likely to be much change in the Rajya Sabha members elected. I will cover this in more detail later.

What is significant is the likelihood of a change in government in UP and Punjab, and probably Uttarakhand and Himachal as well. Even if there is a change in Goa and Manipur, it may not matter on the larger scale unless the AAP does unexpectedly well in Goa. What impact these changes will have on the functioning of the Central government are very speculative at the moment.

To be continued.

More about Indian Prime Ministers

A tabulation of basic biographical and geographical details of persons who have been Prime Ministers of India, including the Acting ones. This may answer any doubts you may have had from the previous post.

Note that V.P. Singh was known as the Raja of Manda, though this was a zamindari estate and not a princely state.

Also to confirm that even some official websites have confusing information, even if they are produced by the Lok Sabha themselves. Gulzarilal Nanda was MP from Sabarkantha (Gujarat) when he was Acting PM and was later MP from Kaithal (Haryana). He also lived for a slightly longer time than Morarji Desai, but still missed crossing a century.

prime-ministers