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Dynastic politics at show, parties playing catch-up

india Updated: Apr 20, 2013 02:56 IST
Naveen Ammembala

Besides the configurations of caste and region, lineage emerged as a major factor in deciding who got the ticket to contest the May 5 polls in Karnataka.

Politics by inheritance, for which the Congress is often criticised, has rubbed off on its detractors also. While the Congress is still leading the pack of inheritors in Karnataka, others are fast catching up.

Senior Congress leader Siddarmaiah claimed the party had given opportunities to aspirants after seeing their work and ability to win the election.

On the Congress list of candidates for the 224 constituencies, at least 17 are from political families. Kumar Bangarappa, Dinesh Gundurao and Kailashnath Patil are sons of former Congress chief ministers S Bangarappa, Gundu Rao, and Veerendra Patil, respectively. However, Patil, who lost in 1994, won in 1999, but lost again in 2004 and 2008, managed the ticket this time also, despite not having a good track record of winning.


Priyank Kharge and Ajay Singh are sons of Union minister Mallikarjuna Kharge and MP and former chief minister N Dharam Singh. The sons lost in the bypolls in 2009 and 2010, but the party chose to give them another chance despite protests from the workers. Plus, former railway minister and popular Muslim leader CK Jaffer Shareif has secured the ticket for his grandson Rehman Shareif and son-in-law Syed Yasin.

The bitter Congress rival in Karnataka, the JD(S), virtually means the family of former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda. After having made his son HD Kumaraswamy chief minister in 2006, Deve Gowda gave a ticket to him this time too. Even daughter-in-law Anita Kumaraswamy has got a ticket. Deve Gowda's another son HD Revanna is also contesting.

The former PM's largesse didn't stop at his immediate family. DC Thammanna, father-in-law of Deve Gowda's fourth son, and CN Balakrishna, brother of another son-in-law of Deve Gowda, have got tickets.

In the BJP there are eight such inheritors. MP Ramesh Katti's brother Umesh Katti, MLA, is contesting and so are M Sreenivasa and M Krishnappa, also brothers and legislators. Home minister R Ashok has managed a ticket for himself as well as his cousin A Ravi. Minister Aravinda Limbavali and his brother-in-law S Raghu are contesting again.

Despite this, BJP state office-bearer Ganesh Kumar said his party won't allow such practices, which were stopped when former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa left the party.