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Dynastic politics is here to stay in Haryana

Haryana politics is dominated by dynasties. A look at the names of the candidates fielded by different parties such as the BJP, Congress and regional outfits Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) and the INLD reinforces the dynastic nature of politics in Haryana.

Dynastic politics is here to stay in Haryana


Deepender Deswal

Haryana politics is dominated by dynasties. A look at the names of the candidates fielded by different parties such as the BJP, Congress and regional outfits Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) and the INLD reinforces the dynastic nature of politics in Haryana. 

Though the dominance of political families has been a point of discussion in the state, these also enjoy the backing of people who identify themselves with caste or region, which are nurtured politicians. The long innings of these families in politics — when they are in power or out of it — have helped them strengthen their core vote banks, which remain loyal to them generations after generations.

An interaction with people from various sections of society indicates that though they are not happy with dynastic politics, they have no choice due to their prolonged association with and attachment to a particular political family. 

Krishan Swaroop Gorakhpuria, a panchayati raj expert and resident of Gorakhpur village in Fatehabad district, says that this is unfortunate and unhealthy for the institution of democracy. “Excessive politicisation of society is the root cause of the survival of dynasties in politics. People try to get political benefits by directly approaching the families of the Chief Ministers and treat these families as rulers. It develops a political culture of sycophancy of the ruling families. Thus a section of people get affiliated to these families,” he says. 

Gorakhpuria says that a value-based political leadership, which equals a missionary attitude, has started giving way to the politics of dynasties. In the name of carrying forward the legacies of their fathers and grandfathers, politicians try to make good of political capital gained by their elders during their heydays in politics.

He adds that factors such as casteism and regionalism are also to be blamed for the dynastic system or kinship in politics, which is not a Haryana specific issue but a countrywide phenomenon. “This is sheer opportunism that has led to degeneration of politics,” he says while giving the example of Suresh Koth, INLD candidate from Hisar who is a farmer and owns only about two acres. Koth has been struggling for the rights and demands of farmers for five years and had even gone to jail. 

Bhajan Lal, a resident of Bahbalpur village, says that no political party is immune to dynastic politics. “In Hisar, the candidates of the Congress, the BJP and the Jannayak Janta Party are from political families, who had been in politics for three and four generations. Even if we don’t like the dynastic system in our democratic set-up, we have little choice but to elect candidates from the political families,” he adds. 

Surajmal, a farmer, says that political loyalty has become so deep-rooted that the scions of political families start cementing their base by nurturing loyalists at an early age. “It’s like the same old king-ship when princes used to get embroiled in palace politics and conspiracies to get a bigger share or take over the entire kingdom. In democracy, since this is not possible, the members of political families nurture constituencies to get a share of the political pie,” he adds.

Ranbir Singh, a cultural historian, says that a socio-religious set-up runs on kinship in Haryana. The political dynasties also reflect these cultural rules as the families of politicians, who got to the top at a stage, strengthen their turfs by using their political power. Except a few Chief Ministers such as Hukam Singh, and BD Gupta, all others sowed enough political seeds to be cultivated by their descendants. 

Sir Chhotu Ram’s family

  • Sir Chhotu Ram, founder of the Unionist Party, was Revenue Minister in Punjab government.
  • Neki Ram, was son-in-law of Sir Chhotu Ram, was an MLA and minister in joint Punjab.
  • Basanti Devi, daughter of Sir Chhotu Ram, was the MLA from the Hasangarh Assembly seat in Rohtak in 1982. 
  • Birender Singh, son of Neki Ram, is a five-time MLA, and four-time MP. He had been the president of the Haryana Congress and is at present Union Minister for Steel.
  • Premlata, wife of Birender Singh, is a social activist and the MLA from Uchana Kalan.
  • Brijendra Singh, son of Birender Singh, has been fielded by the BJP from the Hisar Lok Sabha seat. His father Birender had announced retirement from politics after his son got the ticket.  

Devi Lal’s dynasty 

  • Devi Lal, former Deputy Prime Minister of India.
  • Om Prakash Chautala had been the Chief Minister of Haryana four times. He is the supreme head of the INLD.
  • Ranjit Singh, son of Devi Lal, is a Congress leader and a former state minister. 
  • Ajay Singh Chautala, former MP and MLA, has formed the Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) after a split with the INLD. 
  • Abhay Singh Chautala, MLA from Ellenabad in Sirsa district, holds the reins of the INLD.
  • Dushyant Chautala, Hisar MP, is a JJP leader
  • Naina Chautala, Ajay Chautala's wife and Dushyant's mother, is the MLA from Dabwali in Sirsa.
  • Digvijay Chautala, younger brother of Dushyant Chautala, lost the Jind byelection recently. He is now contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Sonepat as the JJP candidate.
  • Arjun Chautala, son of Abhay Chautala, is the INLD candidate from the Kurukshetra Lok Sabha seat.

Bhajan Lal's family

  • Bhajan Lal, former Chief Minister of Haryana.
  • Kuldeep Bishnoi, son of Bhajan Lal.
  • Renuka Bishnoi, wife of Kuldeep Bishnoi, is the MLA from Adampur.
  • Chander Mohan, son of Bhajan Lal, was Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana.
  • Bhavya Bishnoi, son of Kuldeep Bishnoi, is the Congress candidate from the Hisar Lok Sabha constituency.

Bansi Lal’s family

  • Bansi Lal, former Chief Minister of Haryana.
  • Surender Singh, son of Bansi Lal, was a former Haryana minister. He died in a helicopter crash in 2005
  • Kiran Choudhry, wife of Surender Singh, is the MLA from Tosham. She was a Cabinet minister in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government.
  • Shruti Choudhry, daughter of Surender Singh, is a former MP from the Bhiwani-Mahendragarh seat. She is the Congress candidate from the same constituency this time also.
  • Ranbir Singh Mahendra, son of Bansi Lal, is a former MLA from Mundhal Khurd and a former president of the BCCI.

Manns 

Randhir Singh Mann was a freedom fighter and leader of the Unionist Party.

  • Surjit Singh Mann, son of Randhir Singh Mann, was three-time MLA from Indri and a minister in Bansi Lal’s Cabinet.
  • Surinder Singh Mann, son of Randhir Singh Mann, was a two-time MLA from Pai in Kaithal.
  • Janki Mann, wife of Randhir Singh Mann, had been the MLA from Indri.
  • Randeep Singh Mann, son of Surjit Singh Mann, lost the Assembly elections.
  • Tejinder Pal Mann, nephew of Randhir Singh Mann, is a two-time MLA from Pai.

Hooda’s three generations

  • Ranbir Singh Hooda was a freedom fighter, member of the Constituent Assembly, Member of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, and a former minister of Punjab and Haryana governments.
  • Bhupinder Singh Hooda is the former Chief Minister of Haryana, former president of the Haryana Congress. He is also four-time MP and is contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the Sonepat seat
  • Deepender Singh Hooda, three-time MP from Rohtak. contesting from the parliamentary constituency again.

Rao Tularam’s legacy 

  • Rao Tularam Singh was a key leader of the Indian rebellion of 1857 in Haryana.
  • Rao Balbir Singh was a freedom fighter. 
  • Rao Birender Singh, son of Rao Balbir Singh, was the second Chief Minister of Haryana.
  • Rao Inderjit Singh, son of Rao Birender Singh, is the sitting BJP MP from Gurugram. He is contesting from the constituency again.
  • Rao Yadavendra Singh is a former MLA from Kosli.

Mewat’s political families

The region has three main political families which have been keeping their dynastic politics alive with their progenies carrying forward their legacies. 

  • Tayyab Husain has a unique distinction of serving as a minister in joint Punjab and then in Rajasthan and Haryana. His son Zakir Husain is the INLD MLA from the Nuh Assembly segment. His sister Zahida Khan is the MLA from the Kama Assembly seat in Bharatpur in Rajashtan while his another brother Fazal Husain is an active Congress worker in the Tijara constituency of Alwar district. 
  • Khurshid Ahmed’s son Aftab Ahmed is a prominent Congress leader in Nuh. He was a minister in the Hooda government and had lost the last Assembly elections to Zakir Husain.

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