Dynasty Politics: After All Ability Matters

While dynasty can help elevate the heirs to the throne, it is ultimately their ability that helps them retain it.

Hyderabad: The stage is being set by the chief ministers of both Telugu States to project their sons as their successors. While in Telangana there seems to be a clarity in the ruling party that Chief Minister K Chandra Sekhar Rao’s (KCR)son K Taraka Rama Rao(KTR) is going to be the next chief minister if the party comes to power, in Andhra Pradesh, CM Nara Chandrababu Naidu recently elevated his son as a minister. Naidu is sure to follow his Telangana counterpart soon.

Though India is a democracy and every leader speaks about the democratic values that need to be protected, it’s an irony that most of the regional parties which flayed Congress party for dynasty politics are emulating it. From Karunanidhi to KCR or Naidu, it is the family that comes first. It is widely reported after 2014 general elections that 22 per cent of MPs elected had the dynastic background.  The situation in the States is no different. The popular regional parties are promoting their sons or daughters as their successors.  Though there had been people who worked for the party from its formation and become right hand  to the party supremo, only sons or daughters are preferred by the leader. There are few exceptions to this rule.

Coming to the Telugu States, how well these young leaders are going to perform as chief ministers?  While KCR without having any political background moulded himself into a tall leader, Naidu had his father-in-law who launched a party, TDP, for Naidu to take over. But, both worked hard to be where they are today.  Each one of them is a novice in politics. Whilst KTR appeared on the political arena during the Telangana Movement led by his father a few years ago, Nara Lokesh who has just stepped in was given heavy portfolios like Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.

The one glaring difference between the two young leaders is that while KTR was directly elected by people, Nara Lokesh was elected in an indirect election, by MLAs. KTR proved himself during the municipal polls in Hyderabad, Lokesh is yet to prove his mettle. Oratory comes easily to KTR, while Lokesh needs more experience in addressing the masses. Telangana has all the resources and is already a surplus State, but Andhra Pradesh needs to be developed and moulded. The Centre might help in providing the resources but spending them wisely needs experience. Above all, in Telangana, the opposition is very weak without  a strong leader. The case of Andhra Pradesh is different; the president of YSR Congress party has already made a mark despite the ruling party dubbing him as corrupt.

The rising of sons in politics is nothing new in India after independence. Probably our strong family values blind us to this phenomenon and accept it as something natural. With all the publicity, Akhilesh Yadav, son of Mulayam lost the elections recently. He was a beginner when he was made the chief minister. He could not make a mark and people rejected him. All said and done, ability to deliver on the promises made matters to the public.  Only an able leader can fulfil the promises made. Only he can win the confidence of the people. There are no short cuts in politics.

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