Spread the love

By Manish Anand

New Delhi, October 7: Former Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh was the godfather of the family-owned political parties. The 1990s made several of the states in India pregnant with the identity-based politics, which gave birth to parties which were very quickly usurped by the ruling political families.

The grounds were fertile for the rise of identity-based political parties, which worked with the magical formula of a dominant other backward caste becoming glue to a large social engineering. This worked well in the 1990s, and continued dominating the Indian politics in the first decade of the new millennium.

The Lok Jan Shakti Party and now the Shiv Sena are on course to gain freedom from their presiding families. The Election Commission on Friday wrote to the former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to explain why he should claim the ownership of the Shiv Sena.

Late Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray had run the party with an iron hand, and Eknath Shinde was one of his regional satraps. Shinde bolted the iron gates of the Thackeray family to revive the party’s old alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Forty of the 55 MLAs and 12 of the 18 Lok Sabha MPs walked away with Shinde. On the basis of the numerical strength in the legislature and Parliament, Shinde can comfortably stake claims on the bow and arrow symbol of the party along with its name unless Uddhav Thackeray has convincing evidences on the contrary.

The beginning was made in the LJP after the demise of the party founder late Ram Vilas Paswan. His son Chirag Paswan proved too unsteady for the violent current of the Bihar politics, and his uncles thought prudent to stay in the camp of the BJP.

In Punjab, the Badal family has been thrown out of the mainstream of the Punjab politics, with the emergence of the mercurial Aam Aadmi Party in the state.

At least three family-owned political parties are now facing the existential crisis. In the Hindi heartland, Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad had the political longevity to establish their sons firmly in the affairs of their respective Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, while blunting the rival claimants with their astute politics.

About The Author

1 thought on “Family-owned parties begin wilting

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *