The film begins with a flashback into the life of Bharti Rai (Nikhila Trikha), the daughter of Chief Minister Ramnath Rai (Darshan Jariwala). Influenced by leftist ideology, she rebels against her father and joins the rival party of leftist leader Bhaskar Sanyal (Naseeruddin Shah). Bharti develops an illicit relationship with Bhaskar, who, guilt-ridden over taking advantage of the younger woman, leaves for parts unknown, having unwittingly gotten Bharti pregnant. Upon the child's birth, he is abandoned in a boat by Brij Gopal (Nana Patekar), Bharti's brother. Bharti later marries Chandra Pratap (Chetan Pandit), the younger brother of Bhanu Pratap (Khan Jahangir Khan). Bhanu leads the Rashtrawadi political party. The government in the state collapses and Bhanu suffers a stroke. In the hospital, he hands over power to his brother Chandra and to Chandra's son, Prithviraj Pratap (Arjun Rampal) — sidelining his own son, Veerendra Pratap (Manoj Bajpai). Veerendra, who believes power is his birthright, demands his uncle's position, and after being rebuffed, enlists support from a Dalit leader, Sooraj Kumar (Ajay Devgan) — who, unknown to both, is Bharti's abandoned son.