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Friday, October 30, 2020

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All in the Family

Of the 543 members, 130 members of the 16th Lok Sabha are from political families, i.e., about 25% of the total MPs in the lower house.
A survey by The Hindu, finds that these 130 MPs are either spouse, offspring, parents, or siblings of current or former MPs or MLAs. Surprisingly, the ruling BJP has the least percentage of MPs, i.e., 16%, who are connected with political families. The Congress has nearly 42% such MPs, and it is 100% for Samajwadi Party where all the five MPs are related to party supremo Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav.
The AIADMK which has 37 MPs scores the best with only 2 MPs or 5.41% being connected to political families. YSRC, the fledgling party floated by Jaganmohan Reddy fares the worst, as five of the 9 party MPs have family ties with current or former MPs or MLAs. BJD which made a clean sweep of 20 of the 21 LS seats from Orissa too fares well with only 16.67% (only 3 MPs) having filial bonds.
In SP’s or Mulayam Singh’s case all the five seats won by the party i.e., Badaun, Azamgarh, Mainpuri, Firozabad and Kannauj have been won by his close family members. Mr. Yadav himself has won from Azamgarh and Mainpuri. His daughter in law has won from Kannauj and two other seats have gone to his nephews.
Family ties are prominent in Congress too with Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul winning the only two seats that Congress won in Uttar Pradesh. Abu Hashim Khan and Ms. Mausam Noor, son and daughter of late Congress Minister A B A Ghanikhan Chowdhury represent Malda South and Malda North respectively.
Family ties remain strong within regional parties like Shiv Sena and TDP too where 40% and 43 per cent MPs are related to political families.
Even a new party like the AIUDF has two brothers Badruddin Ajmal and Sirajuddin Ajmal representing the Dhubri and Barpeta constituencies in Assam respectively. Lok Janashakti Party in Bihar, a constituent of the NDA has father-son duo (Ramvilas Paswan and Chirag Paswan respectively) bagging two seats.
The Hindu data reveals that while 69 of the 130 MPs are the sons of current or former MPs/MLAs, 10 are wives, 10 are brothers and the rest are first cousins, uncles and daughter-in-law. A predominant proportion of under-30 MPs are members of families where politics has been a hereditarily practiced. 25 of the 61 women in the current Lok Sabha have come through family connections.

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