After Gandhis, it's Sangmas in Meghalaya
If the Gandhis have drawn ire from some quarters for setting precedence of dynasty rule in Indian democracy, former Lok Sabha speaker Purno Agitok Sangma is also following suit, apparently making politics in Meghalaya a family affair.
The nine-time parliamentarian from Tura in Meghalaya's Garo Hills, Sangma successfully launched two sons - Conrad and James - into politics earlier this year.
After winning the March Assembly elections from Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Conrad is now a cabinet minister in charge of the high-profile finance, tourism, power and a few more departments, while James is the parliamentary secretary for Home.
PA Sangma, who returned to the state politics this time and got elected as an MLA from Tura, is the chairman of Meghalaya Planning Board. However, he is considered to be the de-facto chief minister of the state.
Two of Sangma relatives, including his brother-in-law, contested last Assembly elections unsuccessfully.
Now the youngest of the Sangma siblings, Agatha Kongkal Sangma has also jumped into the political bandwagon by contesting as the NCP candidate for the Tura parliamentary constituency which fell vacant after her father resigned following election as an MLA.
The counting for Tura seat is scheduled on May 25. When asked whether Sangma was trying to encourage dynastic rule, he said, "I am not trying to encourage any dynastic rule. Both my sons are foreign-educated and it is our duty to pay the state back. We need educated people in politics."