'Regional parties thriving due to dynastic politics'

Last Updated 30 March 2019, 10:26 IST

Defending dynasty politics, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday said this in fact helped regional parties thrive in the country.

Justifying the JD(S)’s decision to field three of family members in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Kumaraswamy said his party was not different from other parties, including national parties.

“Dynasty politics has lost its meaning. This trend is prevalent in many states. Not just in regional parties — dynasty politics is prevalent in the Congress and the BJP too. In my opinion, regional parties are thriving only because of dynasty politics. Some regional parties have persisted only because of certain political families. In Tamil Nadu, who will build DMK, if not for the Karunanidhi family? The NCP in Maharashtra is replete with family members. The Samajwadi Party is also thriving because of dynasty politics. If anybody can give a fight to Nitish Kumar or the BJP, it is only the Lalu Yadav family. The JD(S) is standing today only because of the struggles of my family,” he said during an interaction with DH and Prajavani on Friday.

The CM said the Gowda family should not be held responsible for fielding family members, as it merely yielded to its workers’ demands.

“The JD(S) is also around because of the faith reposed by party workers in my family. They believe the party will survive if my family grows politically. I have no choice but to yield to their demands. People from political families can be in politics only when people bless them,” he added.

Kumaraswamy said that BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa too was guilty of dynasty politics. He said that Yeddyurappa’s older son B Y Raghavendra was already in active politics, when his second son too was foraying into politics.

“A third person from Yeddyurappa’s family has also entered politics. It was in fact Yeddyurappa’s second son who took an active lead in the BJP’s attempts to topple the coalition government recently. He was the one who was handling the money and handing it over (to ruling party MLAs) in Mumbai. Two or three more family members from Yeddyurappa’s family may enter politics in future. Who knows. When such is the precedent, then why blame the Deve Gowda family alone?” he said.

He said that he was “forced” to field his son Nikhil from Mandya. “During the Mandya bypolls itself, all eight MLAs of Mandya had demanded that Nikhil should be fielded. But I had snubbed them then. I wouldn’t have fielded him today also. Nikhil had campaigned in all eight constituencies during the Assembly elections and all eight MLAs have developed a fondness for him. Nikhil was fielded only because the MLAs insisted that he be the candidate. We (family) didn’t impose his candidature in Mandya. We have just responded to their emotions.”

‘Nikhil is a politician first’

When asked how he found it convenient to deride film actors entering politics while his son himself was an actor, Kumaraswamy said Nikhil was first a politician and then an actor. “Not only Ramya (former Congress MP). I have even criticised Ambareesh. Nikhil is somebody who likes to be among people. Politics is in his blood. He knows the plight of the people.”

When asked if Nikhil will not act in films in future, he said, “It’s not that he should not act in films in future.”

(Published 29 March 2019, 18:29 IST)

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