Congress’ one family, one ticket policy unlikely to impact party’s political families in State

KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar having a chat with Sonia Gandhi at the Congress meeting at Udaipur in Rajasthan.

KPCC president D.K. Shivakumar having a chat with Sonia Gandhi at the Congress meeting at Udaipur in Rajasthan. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Notwithstanding the initial stir created in the Congress over the party’s one family, one ticket policy that came under the lens at the ongoing Chintan Shivir in Udaipur, most political families belonging to the grand old party in Karnataka are unlikely to face the axe in the coming elections.

For, the exemption clause in the policy of five years of prior work in the party will make the family members of most of the prominent Congress leaders in the State eligible for ticket in the next Assembly or Lok Sabha polls scheduled for 2023 and 2024, respectively.

While former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s son Yathindra Siddaramaiah has been an MLA since 2018, veteran Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge’s son Priyank Kharge has been an MLA since 2013 and has even served as a Minister for IT and BT. Similarly, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president D.K. Shivakumar’s brother D.K. Suresh has been an MP since 2013 while Shamanur Mallikarjun, son of veteran Congressman and president of All-India Veerashaiva Mahasabha Shamanur Shivashankarappa, too had served as an MLA and as a Minister earlier.

Many other Congress politicians’ children or relatives in North Karnataka too are likely to pass the five-year rule. For instance, Ajay Singh and Vijay Singh, sons of late Chief Minister Dharam Singh; Sunil Gouda Patil, brother of senior Congressman and former Minister M.B. Patil, Vijay Kulkarni, brother of former Minister Vinay Kulkarni, have all worked for the Congress for more than five years.

However, though Satish Jarkiholi is the only one among the Jarkiholi brothers, who is in the Congress, the rule may cast a shadow on the political prospects of his children Rahul and Priyanka, who made an entry into politics only during the recent byelections to the Lok Sabha from Belagavi in 2021.

Meanwhile, senior journalist and political commentator M. Gautham Machaiah said the one family, one ticket proposal was an “eye-wash”, but added that it was also “an honest admission by the Congress that dynastic politics, which exists at all levels of the organisation is one of the reasons for the party’s decline.”

The fact that an exception would be made in the case of children or relatives of lawmakers if they have worked for the party exceptionally well during the past five years is a loophole through which most will get through, he said. “If nothing, the proposal will at least facilitate a debate on hereditary politics, where power is passed on from parents to children just like the erstwhile kings,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 29, 2022 9:45:26 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/congress-one-family-one-ticket-policy-unlikely-to-impact-partys-political-families-in-state/article65417301.ece