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With Priyanka's Political Baptism, Gandhi Family Gets Its 15th Member To Take Plunge Into Dynasty Politics

Often questioned over nepotism, the Nehru-Gandhi family is arguably the largest political dynasty among democracies across the world, leaving behind even the Kennedys in the United States.

Fazil Khan | News18.com

Updated:January 25, 2019, 2:49 PM IST
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With Priyanka's Political Baptism, Gandhi Family Gets Its 15th Member To Take Plunge Into Dynasty Politics
File photo of Priyanka Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.
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Amid accusations of dynasty politics from its principal rival BJP, Congress on Wednesday appointed Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as party general secretary and in-charge of poll preparations in UP East. With her official entry into politics, Priyanka has become the 15th member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to take the political plunge.

Often questioned over nepotism, the Nehru-Gandhi family is arguably the largest political dynasty among democracies across the world, leaving behind even the Kennedys in the United States.

The dynasty originates with Motilal Nehru, who served as the Member of UP Legislative Council during 1909-19 and a member of Indian Legislative Assembly between 1923-30. He is followed by his son and India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and daughter Vijaya Laxmi Pandit. Further in the line are Uma Nehru, Arun Nehru, BK Nehru, Indira Gandhi and her husband Feroze Gandhi.

gandhi family

The next generation of the Gandhis consists of Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi. The latest generation of the dynasty to have entered politics are Rahul Gandhi, Varun Gandhi and newest being Priyanka Gandhi.

Compared with other political dynasties such as the Kennedys and Bush family in the US or Bhuttos in Pakistan, the Gandhis are far ahead. While the Kennedys had at least nine members to have held key posts in the country ranging from President, Senator to State Representative. The Bush family has seen seven members - two Presidents, one Vice-President, two Governors and one Senator and Representative each - who have held key jobs in the US.

Similarly, in Pakistan's Bhutto lineage, seven members namely, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Mumtaz Bhutto, Nusrat Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Ameer Bux Bhutto, Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, have been active in politics.

Back home, in Mulayam Singh Yadav's family, at least nine are part of active electoral politics, including Mulayam. In another regional party, the Abdullahs in Jammu and Kashmir have seen three chief ministers, one MP and an MLA.

But the size of the dynasty aside, as many as 130 MPs who won in the Lok Sabha elections 2014 had some kind of political lineage. The phenomenon existed across the party lines. While the 44 of BJP MPs came with a political history, Congress had 18 such MPs in 2014. Similarly, MPs from AIADMK had two, TMC had seven, BJD with three, Shiv Sena had eight, TDP- seven, TRS had four, YSRCP and SP had five past political ties each.


| Edited by: Anu Parthiban
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