18th Lok Sabha: Four MPs in the '25 years' club—move over, Sachin Pilot!

What's more, three of the four are from Dalit communities. Sanjana Jatav has been grabbing pan-India attention; but who are the others?

Newly elected MP Sanjana Jatav meets former CM Ashok Gehlot (photo: @ashokgehlot51/X)
Newly elected MP Sanjana Jatav meets former CM Ashok Gehlot (photo: @ashokgehlot51/X)

Prakash Bhandari

This article focuses on four members of the set defined as 'MPs in the 18th Lok Sabha who are 25 years old'.

Three of the four MPs we are looking at today are deviyan (women).

Each of them is 25 years old, making them some of the youngest Indian citizens to have been elected to the Lok Sabha.

Each of them is entering the Lok Sabha for the first time, representing different states.

[As per Article 84(b) of the Constitution of India, read with section 36(2) of the Representation of People Act, 1951, the minimum age for contesting the Vidhan Sabha and Lok Sabha elections is 25 years of age at the time of filing the nomination.]

What is even more heartening is that out of these four Gen Z MPs, three are from the Scheduled Castes, a sign that Dalit representation too is improving—though of course, there's a lot more to be done here as well.

The four candidates are from different political parties: Samajwadi Party (SP), Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Indian National Congress (INC).

In Rajasthan, breaking Sachin Pilot's record

Sanjana Jatav, the 25-year-old law graduate who comes from the Jatav cobbler community, is married to a police constable, Kaptan Singh, and lives in Bharatpur. She belongs to Attari village herself, under the Nadbai sub-division of Bharatpur district.

She is currently younger than Sachin Pilot was when he became 'India's youngest MP' at 26 years of age, in 2004.

Jatav was elected from Bharatpur (an SC reserved seat), which has a large Jatav population alongside Jats, a farming community that is also the caste of landholders and former feudal lords in this region. The pre-Independence rulers of Bharatpur were from the Jat community too.

Sanjana Jatav is a bright young woman, who lost by a mere 400 votes in the Vidhan Sabha election last year, contesting on a Congress ticket. The party kept its faith in this promising young leader and fielded her for the Lok Sabha as well. She is known for having knit together a good team of workers on the ground for campaigning.

What is especially creditable is that Jatav won from the home district of Rajasthan’s chief minister Bhajan Lal Sharma.

The chief minister himself campaigned very heavily in his home district to ensure the victory of the BJP candidate, Ramswaroop Koli, a former member of the Lok Sabha. He pressed into service the numbers of his BJP volunteers. His administration also helped the BJP candidates. And yet—Sanjana emerged the winner, defeating Koli by 52,7907 votes.

Backed by a dedicated team of volunteers and Congress workers, Jatav also had the support of women in the constituency, and that may have sealed the deal in her favour.

The percentage of polling was 53.32. But the result showed that Sanjana polled 51.18 per cent of votes while her BJP rival only got 46.59 per cent. "It seems a large number of women voted for Sanjana,” agreed Congress MLA  Rohit Bohra.

Jatav had the lead on Koli in six of the eight assembly segments of the Bharatpur Lok Sabha constituency. What's more impressive, she won in the six Vidhan Sabha segments that had BJP MLAs.

“Sanjana was also supported by the Jat community, who have been demanding reservation. We only hope Sanjana will raise the issue of reservation for the Jats of the Bharatpur and Dholpur regions,” said Swarnim Chaturvedi, the Pradesh Congress spokesperson.

But is Sanjana Jatav replacing Sachin Pilot as the new record-holder? Not so.

Who's the new 'youngest' then?

Not far from Sanjana Jatav's Bharatpur, another 25-year-old (plus 3 months) made his stand in the neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh. Pushpendra Saroj of the Samajwadi Party won the Kausumbhi seat — another SC-reserved constituency — in Uttar Pradesh.

This seat was held earlier by the BJP. Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav chose Saron to contest against the mighty Vinod Kumar Sonkar — and she won by over 1 lakh votes. Pushpendra is the son of former UP minister Inderjit Saroj, who was defeated by Sonkar to get this seat.

Alongside this serving of sweet revenge, Saroj Jr gets to celebrate setting a new record for 'India's youngest parliamentarian'.

And no less...

Another Saroj, Priya Saroj, was elected to the Lok Sabha on a Samajwadi Party ticket — this one from Macchilshahr in Uttar Pradesh.

She is the daughter of Toofani Saroj, who has represented the Macchilshahr seat in the Lok Sabha twice and is currently an MLA.

Contesting against BJP MP Bholanath, Priya Saroj won by a margin of 35,850 votes.

Priya, who practises in the Supreme Court in Delhi, epitomes some of the best of Gen X — a young, single professional who is also active in community life, both offline and online (she has a social media following of 1.26 lakh).

The fourth member of 'Club 25'? Sambhavi Choudhary, who won from the Samastipur constituency in Bihar, having been fielded by the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).

Choudhary defeated Sunny Hazari of the Congress, son of JD(U) minister Maheshwar Hazari (yes, they're a complicated family).

Studying in a Delhi college, Choudhary is herself the daughter of Ashok Choudhary, a minister in Nitish Kumar’s Bihar cabinet.

Outgoing prime minister Narendra Modi made much of her claim as the youngest NDA candidate for parliamentarian.

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