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Young Turks Ready to Usher in Generational Shift Across Parties

Akhilesh Yadav's anointment should be viewed as the beginning of a generational shift in Indian politics that would pan out across the country in the coming months.

Pankaj Sharma | CNN-News18@journopankaj

Updated:October 6, 2017, 10:48 AM IST
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Young Turks Ready to Usher in Generational Shift Across Parties
File photo of Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress president Rahul Gandhi at an event.

Akhilesh Yadav, 44, on Thursday was re-elected as the national president of the Samajwadi Party (SP) for a five-year term. This in many ways settles the long-festering leadership issues in the party and the Yadav family.

Akhilesh's anointment should be viewed as the beginning of a generational shift in Indian politics that would pan out across the country in the coming months.

Congress vice-president, Rahul Gandhi (46), is also likely to take the mantle from his mother, Sonia Gandhi, by the end of this month. Sonia has been at the helm of the grand old party for 19 years.

The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, being headed by Shibu Soren, 73, may see a generational shift when its organizational elections are held.

With Shibu on the verge of a political sanyas, his son, Hemant, the leader of opposition in Jharkhand assembly, is likely to be the chosen successor by next April.

Similarly, organizational elections are due in the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) by next May. Sharad Pawar, 76, daughter, Supriya Sule, who first entered Parliament in 2006 as a Rajya Sabha member is a strong contender for the post. The only challenge, if at all would come from cousin Ajit Dada Patil. Sule has been representing Baramati, her father’s constituency, in the Lok Sabha since 2009.

In the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), organizational elections are due by next September. The SAD patriarch, Parkash Singh Badal, is likely to opt for a status quo and continue to repose faith in his son, Sukhbir, who was made the party president in 2008.

In the Janata Dal (United), elections are due by next October. The party chief Nitish Kumar is likely to hold on to the position since the JD(U) doesn’t believe in the one man-one post mantra.

Some more organizational elections are due in 2019.

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is scheduled to go for elections in January 2019. Amit Shah, the party president, is likely to remain in the saddle as the saffron outfit has grown by leaps and bounds under his leadership.

The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), headed by Naveen Patnaik for close to two decades, is likely to maintain the status quo.

However, it would be interesting to see the internal power play in the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), which will be holding it organizations elections by June 2019.

INLD chief Om Prakash Chautala is serving a jail term after his conviction in the teachers’ recruitment scam. His younger son, Abhay, the leader of the opposition in Haryana Assembly, could emerge as the frontrunner to lead the party.

Chautala’s elder son, Ajay, is out of the leadership race since he, like his father, has been convicted of the same offence. Ajay is out on parole from Tihar Jail.

The Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), headed by Ajit Singh, could spring a surprise. Singh’s son Jayanta Chowdhury could get the opportunity during the next organizational elections due by November 2019.

Down south, organizational elections are due in the DMK by January 2020.

Going by the indifferent health of sitting president, M Karunanidhi, the party may decide to give more responsibility to the working president, MK Stalin. However, his elder brother MK Alagiri could play the spoilsport.

In the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), the organizational elections are due by February 2020. Taking a cue from the prevailing trend, LJP chief, Ram Vilas Paswan, could pass on the mantle to his actor-turned-politician son, Chirag.

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| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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