Mumbai: Bal Thackeray’s son and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav was a bitter critic of dynastic politics when his party was an ally of BJP and often criticised the Congress for turning to the Gandhis.
On Monday, as chief minister of Maharashtra, Uddhav Thackeray inducted his son Aaditya, a first-time MLA, as a cabinet minister.
But this wasn’t all. Of the 43 Maharashtra ministers who were sworn in at a glittering event in Mumbai, 22 belong to the state’s various political dynasties.
Thackeray’s deputy is also a dynast — Ajit Pawar, nephew of NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
NCP has nine ministers who come from prominent political families: Jayant Patil (son of ex-minister Rajaram Bapu Patil), Dilip Walse Patil (son of ex-MLA Dattatreya Walse Patil), Rajendra Shingne (son of ex-MLA Bhaskarrao Shingne) and Dhananjay Munde (nephew of ex-deputy CM Gopinath Munde).
Rajesh Tope (son of ex-MP Ankushrao Tope), Prajakt Tanpure (son of ex-MLA Prasad Tanpure), Aditi Tatkare (daughter of former minister and incumbent MP Sunil Tatkare), and Balasaheb Patil (son of ex-MLA P.D. Patil) are the other NCP dynasts who were sworn in.
Congress dynasts who made their way to the Maharashtra cabinet include Balasaheb Thorat (son of ex-MLA Bhausaheb Thorat), Ashok Chavan (son of ex-CM Shankarrao Chavan), Amit Deshmukh (son of ex-CM Vilasrao Deshmukh), Sunil Kedar (son of ex-minister Babasaheb Kedar) and Yashomati Thakur (daughter of ex-MLA Bhaiyasaheb Thakur).
Congress’ Varsha Gaikwad (daughter of ex-MP Eknath Gaikwad), Sartej Patil (son of ex-governor D.Y. Patil) and Vishwajeet Kadam (son of ex-minister Patangrao Kadam) were also sworn in.
Shiv Sena has a third dynast who was given a cabinet berth — Shambhuraj Desai, son of ex-minister Balasaheb Desai.
Two Independents who secured a place in the Maharashtra cabinet also have dynastic backgrounds — Shankarrao Gadakh and Rajendra Patil Yadravkar.
Dynasties in state
Maharashtra has about 42 political families that rule the state, shows an independent research by Heramb Kulkarni, an educationist whose interest in Maharashtra’s political dynasties was fired through Census work.
These families are connected to each other through matrimonial alliances. Some of them are into their fourth generation in politics. Collectively these families cover the entire political spectrum and the 36 districts of the state.
Prominent clans among these include Pawars in Baramati, Thackerays in Mumbai, Fadnavis’ in Nagpur, Vikhe-Patils in Ahmednagar, Mundes in Beed, Chavans in Nanded and Deshmukhs in Latur, among others.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.
But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.
ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.