India, after attaining Independence from the British rule, abolished the Princely States and zamindari system. This was done to provide equal opportunities to every Indian citizen irrespective of caste, gender, religion or economic stature. The promise of a level playing field was being fulfilled by the Congress government. The only party which had a pan-India presence in those days was the Congress party headed by our first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru. And to the surprise of no one, the next Prime Minister to complete her term after the long rule under Mr. Nehru was his daughter, late Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The flow didn’t stop there, leader after leader emerged from the folds of Nehru-Gandhi family. Dynasty politics, espoused by the Congress party, became a norm in Indian politics. The upcoming Karnataka state elections are no different. Karnataka Congress party seems to think that dynasty is the most required qualification in a candiate.
With the election dates announced, the rush for tickets for near and dear ones has started. Reportedly, Karnataka Congress party leaders have demanded a staggering 30 seats for their wives and kids. While some of the leaders believe it is their right to demand tickets for their kin, others want to put a fresh face in their constituency hoping to come over anti-incumbency.
Reasons might vary but the goals are similar, don’t lose the constituencies and to give a boost to the political careers of the leaders of tomorrow. Workers of the organization, who work tirelessly throughout the year, will be sidelined while people born with a silver spoon will cherish the dynasty politics of the Congress party. Meritocracy will once again lose in the inner circles of the party which claims to be the rightful leader of the nation. Rahul Gandhi and his predecessors have shown the path of dynasty politics to the state wings of Congress. While Rahul claimed he wanted to change the dynasty politics in India when he said, “(Having said) that I do try to sort of change it in the Congress party. If you look at the Congress party, there are a large number of people who are actually not from dynastic politics at all, and I can name them from every state,”, he forgot to mention what, if not dynasty politics, enabled him to get the post of the Party President of Congress. His Lok Sabha seat from Amethi for the 3rd time in a row has also been a permanent seat of the head in the Congress family. Ever since 1977, the seat has been reserved for the head of the Nehru-Gandhi family, with Sanjay Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi all having contested from the Amethi seat at some point in the past, with Satish Sharma and Dr. Sanjay Singh being the only exception.
Keeping in tune with the ‘work ethics’ of Congress party high command, the list of MLA’s and MP’s kin asking for seats include–
1. Yathindra- Siddaramaiah’s younger son, a doctor by profession, wishes to receive a ticket from Varuna constiituency.
2. Sowmya Reddy- Daughter of the home minister of Karnataka. Four times elected Ramalinga Reddy is seeking a ticket for his daughter from his own Jayanagar constituency in Bengaluru.
3. Suneel Bose- Son of H.C. Mahadevappa, minister and close confidante of CM Siddaramaiah. Bose wants his son to replace him as the Congress candidate in T. Narasipur in Mysuru, while he wishes to contest the C.V. Raman Nagara seat in Bengaluru.
4. Roopa Shashidhar- Daughter of MP from Kolar, K.H. Muniyappa, wishes to contest from the Kolar constituency held by her father.
5. Mansoor Ali Khan- Son of rajya Sabha MP K. Rahman Khan, he has been in the queue for a very long time.
These are just 5 of the 30 dynasts hopeful of getting a ticket from the Karnataka Congress party. But these are enough to show the intent and practices of the Karnataka Congress party. The lack of meritocracy and pervasiveness of dynasty politics in Congress party will be exposed come the elections of 2018. The rejection of the people is probably what Congress party is looking at, the verdict of the 2018 state elections will probably show Mr. Rahul Gandhi what facts have failed to. By defeating Congress party, Karnataka will make it clear what it thinks of the Karnataka Congress party leaders who treat seats as family property.