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LS Poll’s Youngest Candidate Shambhavi Choudhary, 25, LSR-DSE Passout, Is Set for Samastipur Fight | Interview – News18

LS Poll’s Youngest Candidate Shambhavi Choudhary, 25, LSR-DSE Passout, Is Set for Samastipur Fight | Interview – News18

Shambhavi Choudhary, 25, a Lady Sriram College (LSR) graduate and Delhi School of Economics (DSE), Delhi University pass-out, is one of the four women to get a ticket from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). She is the youngest candidate in the country and will contest from Samastipur constituency from Chirag Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas).

Married to Saayan Kunal, son of philanthropist and scholar Acharya Kishore Kunal, a former IPS officer, who is credited with appointing several Dalit priests in temples in Bihar, Shambhavi is the daughter of Bihar minister Ashok Choudhary, who has held several key roles in the Bihar cabinet.

Samastipur is a Scheduled Caste (SC) reserved seat and was won in 2019 by Prince, son of ex-Union minister Pashupati Paras. This time, Samastipur went to Chirag’s faction and Shambhavi Choudhary became the chosen one.

Edited excerpts from an interview with CNN-News18:

How would you introduce yourself?

I did my schooling from Notre Dame Academy, Patna. I did my graduation from Lady Sriram College, Delhi University. I pursued my Masters in Delhi School of Economics and right now I am pursuing my PhD from Magadh University in Bihar. Other than that, I am a huge animal lover and have been working in the social sector associated with different kinds of NGOs. Right now, I am the honorary director of Gyan Niketan School. I have been working hard in the field of education for the last couple of years.

Your debut is with the 2024 general elections. Why did you decide to join politics? Did you have any pressure from your family?

There was no pressure from the family. I was always interested in politics. I have been born and brought up in a political family and that has definitely impacted my personality, preferences and personal interests. My family knew that I was interested, but the debut was not planned. When the elections were announced, I asked Chirag bhaiya to consider me and told him that if there was any possibility to work in Samastipur, I would feel honoured and privileged.

Why Samastipur? Why LJP and not JDU?

My father is in the Janata Dal United (JDU) and I am really proud of the family I come from. But to join the LJP has been a political decision. When life gives you two options, a professional and another personal, both should be independent. I chose the LJP because I resonate with Chirag bhaiya more. He’s young and so am I. It is a futuristic approach for my political career in the long run. I am really in tune with Chirag bhaiya’s vision of ‘Bihar & Biharis first’. It had a profound impact on me. I was a student of Delhi University and the professors used to say that you don’t look like a Bihari. I always wondered what a Bihari should look like?

How many times have you visited Samastipur? What are your plans for the constituency?

I have never been to Samastipur, but my mother-in-law and father-in-law are from Samastipur. They have worked a lot in that area. I am really looking forward to moving to Samastipur as I have a home there. Other than the policies in my mind, I am going with an optimistic view and moving with a positive mindset. I plan to work in the field of education and healthcare. My priority will be to use modern-age technology in the field of education, health, financial independence, generation of employment and investment. The first step is to go there and understand the demography. My plan is to start development from class two level, so I would like to carry out micro investigation of what is needed and try to start with Jeevika didi and Tola Sevaks. In the next five years, I plan to develop a brand new Samastipur for the generations to come.

You must be familiar with the accusation of nepotism and parivarvad against the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress. Now questions will be raised on your candidature as well. How will you counter those?

Coming from a political family may have created an easy passage for me for communication. But from here, my political career will be decided by people. Whether I get to represent Samastipur or not will be by people, not my family or relatives.

Your fight is with the Congress, which has a Yadav, Muslim and OBC vote bank. How big is the challenge as far as the caste formula is concerned?

Despite having 26% Yadavs and OBCs, five of the six Vidhan Sabha seats are with the NDA. We have a history of NDA victory in Samastipur. I come from the SC category and my husband is from forward caste. My father was a staunch advocate of Dalit rights and this will be a deadly combination. It will help strengthen my position if you are talking of demographics. The most important part is that there is no alternative to an educated person and Bihar has come to a point where they want educated people who can take their voices to the higher level. I can be a good voice for Samastipur in Parliament and this is what the people of Samastipur must be expecting.

Do you think the NDA agenda such as Ram Mandir, 370, CAA, etc. will help you or will Tejashwi Yadav’s job card work in Bihar this time?

What is important are the fulfilled promises. As far as employment is concerned, I am sure that Modi ji, Nitish Kumar and the NDA have been able to provide a lot of employment in the past 10 years and will continue to do so. These are narratives set by the media. Eventually people vote looking at how impressive a candidate is.

Only 10% of the total seats, i.e 4 out of 40, have been given to women. You are one of them. How do you plan to address women’s issues of Bihar if you are elected?

My party LJP(R) has given two out of its five seats to women, which is almost 40% and I am not in a position to answer for other parties. I will try to do my best to raise women’s issues. My first priority will be employment.

Voters of certain constituencies complain that their MP never or seldom visits the constituency after winning. Will you prove them wrong?

We used to have this conversation in the family. You have your father’s home and you have your in-laws’ home and I have always told my friends and relatives that my house will be in Samastipur. I am stationed in Patna right now, which is just two-and-a-half hours away from Samastipur…

Will a Congress candidate be a challenge for you?

I am going to focus on myself, my ideas and vision. I am in no position to comment on people who are senior to me. I am going to focus on my campaign and ideas.

Your message to people?

Apna pyaar aur aashirwad bana ke rakhiye, hum aap hi ki beti hain, apne ghar aa rahe hain aur bahut asha aur umeed ke saath aa rahe hain. Hum aapko wada karte hain ki hum aapki umeedon per khare utrenge.

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