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These are India’s 34 most powerful political families

Dynastic politics is not the hallmark of just the Gandhi-Nehru family. It has now become an integral part of Indian polity, cutting across party divides and regional lines. ThePrint brings you 34 most influential dynasties.

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The Yadavs of UP & Bihar

The Yadavs of UP & Bihar
Infographic by Arindam Mukherjee/ThePrint

Uttar Pradesh is the most crucial state electorally, sending 80 members to the Lok Sabha. The state, though, boasts of its own deep-rooted political dynasties.

While the Yadavs of the Samajwadi Party (SP) are the most well-known dynasty here, there are also others such as the clan of Chaudhary Charan Singh, the former Prime Minister of India.

Singh’s son, Ajit Singh, founded the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) — a party influential in the western part of the state. A former MP, Ajit Singh has served as a cabinet minister in various central governments. His son, Jayant Chaudhary, is an active politician and was an MP from Mathura between 2009 and 2014.

The Yadavs of Uttar Pradesh, meanwhile, are emblematic of the country’s tryst with powerful families.

At the head is former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and socialist leader Mulayam Singh Yadav. A very public, an almost-bitter feud has, however, led to son Akhilesh Yadav, a former CM himself, taking complete control of the Samajwadi Party (SP). While the father has continued to remain in the party, his frequent inscrutable comments have been a headache for Akhilesh.

Another power centre that Akhilesh has had to contend with is the influence of his uncles — Ram Gopal Yadav and Shivpal Yadav. While Ram Gopal, a Rajya Sabha MP, has continued to remain an important leader in the SP, Shivpal broke away to form his own party — the Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party — in September 2018.

Mulayam’s daughters-in-law have also been active in politics. Dimple Yadav, Akhilesh’s wife, is a Lok Sabha MP from Kannauj while Aparna Yadav, his younger son Prateek’s wife, unsuccessfully contested the 2017 assembly polls from the Lucknow Cantt constituency.

Much like Mulayam, former Bihar chief minister and ex-union minister Lalu Yadav also has his political antecedents in socialism and the ‘JP movement’ (led by Jay Prakash Narayan) of the 1970s.

Known for his wit, colourful use of language, astute political brains and, of course, the infamous fodder scam, Lalu now has four of his blood relatives, besides him, in politics.

His wife Rabri Devi has been a chief minister while son Tejashwi is the leader of opposition in the Bihar assembly. Elder son Tej Pratap was a minister in the state and his daughter Misa Bharti contested the Patliputra Lok Sabha seat in 2014 but lost. Several of Lalu’s nine children are married into political families.

The Bahugunas of UP and Uttarakhand

Originally from Uttar Pradesh, the Bahugunas now straddle between the state and neighbouring Uttarakhand.

The first-generation among them to enter politics, Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, had a tumultuous relationship with the Congress where he began his politics. He was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

His son Vijay Bahuguna, who split from the Congress along with other rebels to join the BJP ahead of 2017 assembly polls in Uttarakhand, has served as the state’s chief minister and a Lok Sabha MP. His sister Rita Bahuguna Joshi, meanwhile, is a minister in the current BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. A senior Congress leader, she joined the BJP in 2016 along with her brother.

Vijay’s sons, Saket and Saurabh, are also active in politics.

Next – Maharashtra’s political families

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  1. Badal family of Punjab and Scindia Family of Gwalior MP are both royal and Politically Powerful and rich family of India we can say

  2. Is THEPRINT a news portal or congress mouthpiece?? In almost the states/reigon you mentioned there are political family dynasty from congress but you put the picture of just one congress dynasty which ( Scindias) is a split dynasty. Why are you trying so hard to show that being a dynasty is not congress speciality? Or maybe the pictures of congress leaders were not available on net????

  3. A top place for this news feature at 10:30 on 08/03/2019 in search results when you type ‘India’ on Google thanks to SEO or whatever else.
    Because there are virtually no other other issues that need such prominence isn’t it?
    Because the most covetous, subversive, sneaky, under-the-radar-kind-of-murderous national political dynasty ever could use more coverage and subtle campaigning by unfair comparisons to regional dynasties who just want to look after one region they feel they understand and keep it from being plundered from the national political dynasties.
    And this coverage comes at a time when elections aren’t too far .


    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see which political overlords fill your pockets.
    And we’re supposed to believe you’re any different from a TOI or Economic times or NDTV.

  4. Your narrative started with BJP but only two out of the 34 mentioned by you, truly belong to the dynastic rule i.e. Scindia and Yeddyurappa that too are only in the politics and not running the parties….. Whereas are other dynastic parties running their parties as Private Limited Companies….. That difference you again failed to highlight….. Even the fourth estate has failed this great country in true sense….

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