In Hazaribagh, Jayant Sinha, the son of former finance minister Yashwant Sinha, is asking people to vote on the lotus symbol if they want to see Narendra Modi as prime minister. Less than three months ago, he was dealing with investment strategy at Omidyar Network.
Exactly three decades ago, his father had quit the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) to join politics. Party sources say Yashwant Sinha is unlikely to enter the fray in this Lok Sabha election but his son may contest from Hazaribagh, the seat represented by the senior BJP leader.
Jayant, who resigned as managing director and head of India investments at the investment firm in December, says his campaign in Hazaribagh is just a continuation of what he has been doing in the past when his father was the candidate from the Lok Sabha constituency.
When asked if he was planning to contest from the seat this time, he says "I am willing to take up any role the party assigns me."
Seeped in the rough and tumble of politics, Jayant says his job is simple. "You just have to ask people who they think should be prime minister. They say Narendra Modi. I tell them there are no other choices and they agree. I tell them to press the lotus button for Mod," he says.
His entire family is in Hazaribagh, as usual, on the campaign trail. Jayant says he was lucky to have had access to good education. "I have the good fortune to now return to my people and serve them. If people like us dont do this, who will," says the IITian, who holds an MBA degree in general management from Harvard Business School.
He was at McKinsey and Company when his father won the Lok Sabha election in 1998 and became finance minister. "That was the turning point for all of us in the family. Even though I had a consuming professional life, I was interested in policy matters," he says.
Describing his father as role model, 50-year-old Jayant says he led a dual life as a professional and a political campaigner.
Yashwant Sinha, who had first fought from Hazaribagh in 1984, had left behind a successful career as Joint Secretary after he made a promise to Jaiprakash Narayan to join politics.
"When I decided to join politics there was nothing going for me. Those days it depended on money power, muscle power, connections, networking none of which I had. But, my career in politics is proof that that if you have the capability you will be rewarded," says Sinha, who quit joined the BJP in 1993 after the Janata Party experiment failed.
The Hazaribagh election was scheduled on April 10, but it clashes with Ram Navami and Sinha has asked the Election Commission to postpone it to April 17.