The untimely death of Ram Vilas Paswan, the Dalit leader from Bihar in 2020 left a void in Indian politics and in the life of his son Chirag Paswan who was left to carry forward the legacy of his father, a leader with a national appeal.
However, the absence of his father proved harmful for Chirag whose political career was brought to a halt on Monday as was his predicament in Bollywood many years earlier. The sitting Lok Sabha MP from Jamui who called himself PM Modi’s ‘Hanuman’ and donated Rs 1.11 lakh for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya was knocked out in a family coup. Notably, history has been witness to many such political family feuds which led to ousting of future leaders.
Chirag Paswan Ousted
On Monday, five of the six Lok Janshakti Party MPs in Lok Sabha rebelled against Chirag and elected Pashupati Kumar Paras, the youngest brother of the former’s father, in his place, causing a big churn in Bihar politics. A day later, Chirag was sacked from the post of the party’s national president, too.
Interestingly, Chirag was outmaneuvered within months of taking over the mantle by his kin. One of the five-party leaders to revolt against Chirag is his own cousin Prince Raj, the MP from Samastipur. Raj is the son of Ram Chandra Paswan, the former Lok Sabha MP who died in 2019.
Naidu Seizes Power from NTR
A seasoned actor NT Rama Rao also had to face the same predicament as Chirag. Entering politics at 60, NTR launched his Telugu Desam Party while his son-in-law, N Chandrababu Naidu was drafted to build the TDP organization. NTR reigned as chief minister of Andhra for as good as 13 years when in 1995 his son-in-law and trusted lieutenant Naidu rebelled against him. Justifying his coup, Naidu said he had been forced to act against his father-in-law because of NTR’s second wife Lakshmi Parvathi’s growing influence over party affairs and on the state government. Overnight, NTR was brought on the streets with his downfall being as dramatic as his spectacular rise.
Jayalalitha Rises to the Occasion
With the death of MG Ramachandran in Tamil Nadu in the year 1987, his widow, Janaki Ramachandran was burdened to carry forward his legacy, however, it lasted barely 24 days. As a result of chaos inside the assembly on the day of the vote of confidence, then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was prompted to dismiss her government and impose President’s Rule, Towards the end of the President’s rule, DMK swept the polls ushering in the reign of MGR’s constant companion and party general secretary, Jayalalitha.
Kumaraswamy Fights His Brother
In Karnataka, Kumaraswamy had a feud with his elder brother and a staged fight and patch-up with father Deve Gowda before inheriting the mantle.
Family feuds among Indian politicals families are inevitable. In Shiv Sena, the political succession battle involving Bal Thackeray’s son Uddhav and nephew Raj played out under the patriarch’s watch before the son settled it skillfully with his father’s help.
Though Sharad Pawar has ensured that Maharashtra’s most powerful political family remains united, the occasional bickering gives way to many headlines. Recently, deceased Ajit Singh’s son Jayant was saved as most of the legacy of his grandfather Charan Singh was hijacked by his father’s colleagues.
With buzz growing about a reshuffle in the Union cabinet, political watchers believe that the development is aimed at thwarting Paswan’s chances to join the government but it remains to be seen as to how the saffron party sees the implosion in the LJP. What will also be a key aspect, while going ahead, is how core LJP voters, mostly members of the Paswan community, react to the development.