Maha Republic of sons and daughters

Maha Republic of sons and daughters

After the Maharashtra cabinet was expanded by Uddhav Thackeray on Monday, a month after he was sworn in as chief minister of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government, the ministry looks more like a get together of the political families of the state than as a political and administrative forum representing the best talent and experience of the elected representatives. Thackeray expanded his six-member ministry with the induction of 36 ministers from the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress who had got together to form the government last month. The expansion was delayed probably because of pressures and counter-pressures from party leaders and MLAs and bargaining and other tricks of the political trade by hopefuls, because a ministership is the ultimate aim of all public life. How can families that have enjoyed power and have an entitlement to it be denied that basic right? 

In the event, the Government of Maharashtra is a family affair. There are 14 sons, daughters, nephews, grandsons and other relatives of prominent politicians in the ministry, and that makes it over a third of the total strength. One cannot recall another ministry anywhere with this level of nepotism. NCP leader Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar, who had gone over to the BJP and had become the deputy chief minister, is back in the same perch, losing nothing and, perhaps, gaining freedom from the corruption cases he was involved in. No-one lost, except the people whose thousands of crores went down the irrigation channels. Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aaditya Thackeray has also been made a minister. After all, he needs to be groomed for his future entitlement. An NCP MP’s daughter is in, and the party’s other leaders, too, haven’t disappointed their kin. 

The Congress has a contingent of men and women in the ministry whose names and surnames have networked and descended through generations in politics — a Chavan, a Deshmukh son, a Gaekwad daughter or a someone of someone else. The party had never thought it would get to a government in the state, but when the opportunity came, the pedigree was ready. The three parties formed the government in the most difficult circumstances, and they should have done better than to give the state a rule of dynasties. It has created disappointments and disaffection among lawmakers of all three parties which can turn into discontent and desertions and help the party which is waiting and watching. The MVA had formulated a common minimum programme which touched upon all the major challenges of governance and development in the state. Yet, in forming the cabinet to implement the programme, it has quickly descended into nepotism.   

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
GET IT
Comments (+)