Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New spin to dynastic politics

PA Sangma was among those who walked out of the Congress along with Sharad Pawar to form the Nationalist Congress Party. At the time, they said they could not stomach the Congress' brand of dynastic politics any more.

Now, Pawar has now qualms about being part of a Congress-led coalition. As for Sangma, he is busy inducting his kids into politics, whether at the state or national level. His justification: he is not grooming any kid in particular, there will be equal opportunities for all, so he can't be said to be guilty of practising dynastic politics.

Sangma even distinguishes his brand of dynastic politics from Sonia's: Sonia has clearly identified one successor, Rahul! Even by the standards of Indian politics, this qualifies as a new low.

ET has some acerbic comments:

His (Sangma's) daughter Agatha has just been elected India’s youngest MP. His elder son Conrad is Meghalaya’s Cabinet minister for finance and power.

His younger son James is the parliamentary secretary for home. The position of Meghalaya Planning Board chairman is itself defined as equivalent to that of the CM who is expected to step down after two-and-a-half years so that Sangma can take over for the next 30 months.

And yet Sangma maintains he is not trying to encourage any dynasty. His children, he says, are foreign-educated and it is their duty to pay the state back. Earlier this year, when he resigned as MP from Tura to contest the assembly elections and his daughter was chosen as the NCP candidate for the Lok Sabha by-election, he was quoted as saying that the “people of Garo Hills did not have any other choice as Agatha K Sangma is the only available right choice”.

....Maybe it is just as well Sangma left the Congress exactly nine years ago. In the latest Karnataka polls, the Congress insisted that the kith and kin of party office-bearers should not be allowed to contest. All of which upset some senior leaders who wondered why the same principle did not apply to the Nehru-Gandhi family

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