Sat. Sep 30th, 2023

Karnataka: Familocracy burry’s Democracy in LC Elections

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Dharwad, 15 December (HS): The results of the 25 constituencies on Tuesday from the local bodies to the state Legislative Council have exposed tall claims of all parties in support of Democracy. On the other hand, they have become an eye-opener on the sorry state of affairs prevailing in the state of Karnataka. Familocracy with loads of money bags and muscle power has not just bulldozed the significance of the largest Democracy but literally buried it!

11 each to BJP, INC and Two to JD-S: For record sake, both the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC) won in 11 seats each and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) had to remain content with a couple of them.

Independent trounces official BJP candidate: However, as expected and feared in some quarters of the ruling BJP, Lakhan Jarkiholi, younger brother of Ramesh Jarkiholi, Satish Jarkiholi and Balachandra Jarkiholi, all MLAs? contested as an Independent and emerged victorious defeating Mahantesh Kavatagimath. The latter was also the chief whip of the ruling BJP in the upper house.

KS Eshwarappa demands scrapping of Council: Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister KS Eshwarappa expressed his dismay over the recent developments during the conduct of Legislative Council elections. Expressing shock over the huge proportion of money pumped in by the contestants, he wondered whether the Election Commission is alive or dead. He even went to the extent of demanding to scrap the legislative council itself while admitting never in his lifetime did he see money flowing like water!

Buying power decides winning chances: The elected Members of local bodies or grassroots level civic bodies are the vote bank. As it is only the currency that matters in banking so are cash and costly gifts deciding the fate of contestants? More the money power to spend lavishly so is the chance of sweeping the polls.

A dozen family Members?: Family politics, rather than party politics or power politics has played a pivotal role in the council elections. About 12 members belonging to political families having representation either in the state Assembly, Council or Parliament have been elected to the council, hitherto known as the house of the elders. The unique characteristic is not restricted to any particular political party and all of them are equal partners? in family progress!

BJP brothers, kith and kin: Suja Kushalappa, brother of Appachu Ranjan, five times Madikeri MLA has won from the Kodagu district constituency. DS Arun, son of DH Shankaramurthy, former chairman of the council has won from Shivamogga district. KS Naveen, a relative of BS Yediyurappa, the former chief minister has won from Chitradurga district. Pradeep Shettar, brother of Jagadish Shettar, former chief minister won from Dharwad district.

Congress brothers and ?: Bheemarao Patil, brother of Rajasekhar Patil, MLA won from Bidar district. In Raichuru district, Sharanagowda Bayyapur, brother?s son of MLA Amaregowda Bayyapur has won. Sunilgouda Patil, brother of MB Patil, former minister and legislator has won from Vijayapura. S Ravi, a relative of DK Shivakumar, KPCC president has snatched Bengaluru Rural district constituency. Channaraj Hattiholi, brother of Lakshmi Hebbalkar, Belagavi Rural MLA has won from Belagavi. R Rajendra, son of KN Rajanna, former MLA has won from Tumakuru. Dr Suraj Revanna, son of HD Revanna, former minister and MLA and grandson of HD Devegowda, the former prime minister has won from Hassan.

Three brothers to Vidhana Soudha: Three brothers of the same family from Bidar district have made it to the Vidhana Soudha housing both houses of the legislature creating a record of sorts. Rajasekhar Patil, the elder brother has won from the Humnabad constituency continuously for the fourth time. Another brother Dr Chandrasekhar Patil is already an MLC winning from the Graduates constituency. Now Bheemarao Patil has been elected to the council.

Four Brothers to Vidhana Soudha: With the victory of Lakhan Jarkiholi to the legislative council, four brothers have now made it to the Vidhana Soudha. Ramesh Jarkiholi represents the Gokak constituency, Satish Jharkiholi is elected from Yamakanamaradi while Balachandra Jarkiholi is the sitting MLA of Arabhavi constituency in Belagavi district.

Family members in both houses of legislature and Parliament: Perhaps HD Devegowda, as he proudly keeps proclaiming, son of a poor, humble family surpasses all these numbers. He himself is a Member of the Rajya Sabha while grandson Prajwal Revanna is the Hassan Lok Sabha MP. Now his brother Dr Suraj Revanna has been elected to the legislative council. HD Devegowda?s two other sons; HD Kumaraswamy and HD Revanna are MLAs?. Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of HD Kumaraswamy is also an MLA.

Parties differ, priorities remain the same: All these developments have been taking place in the name of strengthening the democratic system at the grassroots level. But in reality, what is happening is strengthening family representation in legislative bodies. The political parties may differ in strategy, manifesto and declared policies for the sake of public consumption. But the leaders are not ashamed of pushing the family agenda when it comes to enjoying power. And the pathetic plight is that no party has any clear cut policy on all such matters. All these parties claim the workers as the backbone of their parties and where do all these real party workers vanish when it comes to sharing power?