Dynasty rules: In Barwani district panchayat, it is all in the family

  • Animesh Jain, Hindustan Times, Barwani
  • Updated: Mar 26, 2015 17:14 IST

The recent panchayat polls in Madhya Pradesh's Barwani have thrown up an interesting fact: All but one elected member are close relatives of well-known political leaders.

And the family affair starts right from the top.

Congress-supported Lata Rawat, elected as president of the zila panchayat (ZP), is the wife of Gyarsi Lal Rawat, a two-time Congress MLA from Sendhwa.

Gyarsi Lal Rawat is a current ZP member.

Lata Rawat defeated BJP-supported Durga Patel, whose husband Anter Singh Patel is also an ex-ZP president. She is also the daughter-in-law of Devi Singh Patel, a former minister and four-time BJP MLA from Rajpur.

Patel's nephew Subhash Patel is the BJP MP from Khargone constituency.

Another ZP member Vikas Arya is the son of Anter Singh Arya, minister and three-time BJP MLA. Vikas's grandfather Rao Ji Bhai Arya was also an MLA.

Ranjana Patel, the ZP member of ward number 2, is the wife of Balwant Singh Patel, a former ZP president in Barwani, and daughter-in-law of Prem Singh Patel, four-time BJP MLA of Barwani.

The list does not end here.

Prem Singh Patel's wife Kokila Patel is president of Barwani municipality and his daughter is president of the Palsud nagar panchayat.

Patel's sister Gita Chouhan is a two-time ZP member and served as president of the ZP in Barwani earlier. Subhadra Parmar (ZP member ward no 9) is wife of district Congress president Sukhlal Parmar, who contested the assembly polls thrice.

Congress-backed Ramesh Chouhan (ward no 8), who won the ZP vice-presidential election, had held many important portfolios at the party level. Gayatri Darbar of ward no 1 is wife of Congress vice-president Karan Singh Darbar.

Defending the nomination of family-members, district BJP president S Vira Swami said that zila panchayat elections are big elections and each ward covers at least 25 village panchayats.

"The party did carry out a survey in search of candidates. There were single names in 12 wards out of 14 wards because of expenses of these elections. So unfortunately, the party had to back those 12 candidates for the elections only because of their capacity to fight the elections," he argued.

But he was quick to add that he was against dynasty politics and it should be stopped for the sake of democracy.

Sukhlal Parmar, district Congress president also gave the same logic. "Dynasty in politics has been there since independence and it should be stopped. It's not possible for a common man to contest elections in present age," he said.

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