Council may have more dynasts after Dec 10 election

Council may have more dynasts after December 10 election

12 of 44 candidates announced are kin of MLAs or ex-leaders

Family affiliation has remained a key factor for the selection of candidates even for the upper house of the legislature.

Over a fourth of all candidates announced by the three major parties - 12 of 44 - are relatives of either MLAs or former leaders of these parties. 

Six of the 20 Congress candidates, five of 20 from the ruling BJP and one from JD(S) have relatives with links to state politics. 

Also Read | Karnataka MLC Polls: JD(S) fields only seven candidates

Among Congress candidates, S Ravi (Bengaluru Rural) is KPCC president D K Shivakumar’s cousin, Sharanagouda Patil (Raichur) is MLA Amaregouda Patil Bayyapur’s nephew, Channaraj Hattiholi (Belagavi) is MLA Laxmi Hebbalkar’s brother, R Rajendra (Tumakuru) is the son of former Madhugiri MLA K N Rajanna, Dr Mantar Gowda (Kodagu) is BJP leader (ex-Congress) A Manju’s son.

Sunilgouda Patil (Bijapur-Bagalkot) is MLA and former minister M B Patil’s brother.

Prominent among the ‘dynasts’ in BJP are Pradeep Shettar (Dharwad), brother of former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, D S Arun (Shivamogga), son of former Legislative Council chairman D H Shankara Murthy, Suja Kushalappa (Kodagu), elder brother of Madikeri MLA Appacchu Ranjan, B G Patil (Kalaburagi), a relative of former BJP MP and businessman Vijay Sankeshwar and Prakash Khandre (Bidar), a relative of Congress MLA Eshwar Khandre. 

Also Read | MLC polls: Three candidates file nominations

JD(S), too, has continued fielding members of party supremo H D Deve Gowda’s family members. Suraj, son of former minister H D Revanna, is the third grandson of Gowda to contest the elections. 

Such tendencies have led to elitism within parties and in the democratic setup, political analyst Muzaffer Assadi said.

“What is saddening is that one elite is being replaced by another elite in every election,” he said.

Over the years, the trend of a few families controlling the political setup is growing, he said, drawing comparisons with the United States of America, where around 500 families had a lion’s share in politicking and contesting polls. 

Also Read | Karnataka MLC Polls: BJP discharges ex-minister of party duties

Another analyst Chambi Puranik highlighted that none of the major parties in the state has kept dynastic politics away.

“All parties are guilty of promoting their families or their own personal interest more than the interest of the state or country,” he said.

“The Council used to have erudite, knowledgeable and highly public-spirited representatives to justify its position as a second chamber of the legislature. Today, we don’t see many elders (in the upper house), but wielders of power,” he added. 

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