Dynasty politics: Congress leads from the front in HP polls.

Dynasty politics: Congress leads from the front in HP polls.

This Himachal Pradesh election is being seen as a launchpad for the next generation kin of veteran Congress leaders and others who have dominated the political landscape of the hill state for decades. For the saffron party though, its experimenting with newcomers as well. The BJP has preferred to replace nearly 20% of its front-runner candidates and MLA's with new faces who are now in the midst of the joust for power.

The Congress in a desperate bid to accommodate the kin of powerful state leaders, who arguably hold sway over voters, even overlooked its one family one ticket norm. The party high command did not make this exception in the Punjab elections nine-months ago when it denied party tickets to even Capt Amarinder Singh's son and Navjot Singh Sidhu's wife citing one-family one ticket rule. Congress chief minister Virbhadra Singh's son Virkramaditya Singh, cabinet minister Kaul Singh Thakur's daughter Champa Thakur, state assembly Speaker BBL Butail's son Ashish Butail are trying their fortunes on a political turf well nurtured by their fathers.

Ironically, the election campaign has seen only sporadic attacks against opponents surrounding nepotism. That's also because the BJP too is not free of the charge of promoting dynasty in politics and has its share in this elections as well. The BJP knows this rhetoric will cut both ways. Anurag Thakur, the son of former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal- the BJP's CM candidate for the election- is a sitting Lok Sabha MP from Hamirpur.

Barring former CM and BJP veteran Shanta Kumar, who holds considerable clout in Kangra, all former chief ministers of the hill state have arguably not resisted from advancing their political gains by promoting dynasty one way or the other. While Shanta Kumar has cautiously kept his son and daughter away from mainstream politics, the octogenarian this time though had expressed his desire to be projected as the CM face. That his proposal did not find favours with the BJP central leadership is a different story. The entry of new faces and the generation next of leaders in poll fray indicates the changing political narrative in HP.

 

 

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry