Dynastic politics hit a new high in Karnataka as 18 victorious candidates had a powerful relative or family connection to politics. Of them, 10 were from the Congress, five from the BJP and three from the Janata Dal (Secular).
Two father-son pairs of the Congress won their seats: M Krishnappa and son Priya Krishna won in Vijayanagar and Govindarajanagar respectively. The wealthy younger Krishna is considered an eligible bachelor. Former minister Shamanur Shivashankarappa, 75, and his son SS Mallikarjuna, 45, won in Davanagere South and Davanagere North constituencies.
Sons of prominent Congress politicians, past and present, won and deepened their clout in the party: Priyank Kharge (Chittapur constituency) is son of union minister Mallikarjuna Kharge, Ajay Singh (Jevargi) is son of former chief minister N Dharam Singh. Significantly, both the sons had lost by-elections in 2009 and 2010 respectively but their fathers’ clout in the party ensured a ticket this time.
Other sons who came good included Dinesh Gundurao (won Gandhinagar for the fourth consecutive term),son of former chief minister R Gundurao; Tanweer Sait, son of late Azeez Sait, from Narasimharaja constituency in Mysore; UT Khader, son of late UT Fareed from Mangalore; Vijay Kashappanaver, son of senior Congress leader SR Kashappanavar, from Hunagund.
In the BJP too, familial connect found a place. Umesh Katti, brother of MP Ramesh Katti, won; state minister Aravinda Limbavali and his co-brother S Raghu won their seats Dasareahalli and CV Raman Nagar.
Of the brothers M Sreenivasa and M Krishnappa who contested from Rajarajeshwarnigar and Bangalore south constituencies, Krishnappa won. Home minister in the BJP cabinet R Ashok won from Padmanabhnagar though his cousin A Ravi lost to Krishna Byre Gowda in Byatarayanapura constituency.
Krishna Byre Gowda is the son of late Byre Gowda, former state minister and popular Janata Party leader who passed away recently. Krishna, who graduated from a prestigious university in the United States, worked as a project associate at the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington.
The JD(S) is labelled as a father-son party. Former Prime Minister HD Devegowda continues to be national president. Son and former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy who functions as state president won from Bangalore rural constituency. His wife Anita Kumaraswamy too contested but lost in Chennapattana. Kumaraswamy’s elder brother HD Revanna won in Holenarasipura. DC Thammanna, father-in-law of Devegowda’s fourth son Ramesh, won in Maddur.
The big familial losers were also Congress contestants. AICC general secretary BK Hariprasad’s brother BK Shivram lost to the BJP’s Ashwarth Narayana in Malleshwara. Former union railway minister CK Jaffer Sharief’s kin had secured tickets; grandson Rehman Sharief lost in Hebbal while son-in-law Syed Yasin lost in Raichur.