Ministers’ interfering kin bane of Karnataka politics: Experts | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Chief minister BS Yediyurappa’s younger son BY Vijayendra has been often accused by opposition Congress and JD(S) of interfering in the state administration ever since BJP came to power in the state last July. He faced similar allegations when Yediyurappa was at the helm for the first time from 2008 to 2011.
Some of his own party MLAs too accused him and other family members of taking control of the state administration, purportedly through a letter to the BJP leadership in Delhi which had been widely shared by Congress functionaries. The BJP top brass in Delhi issued strict instructions not to give opposition parties a chance to point fingers at the government for involving family members.
However, Yediyurappa is not the only one to face such allegations. Karnataka politics have always had family involvement, not just sons but daughters, daughters-in-law and even grandchildren.
Almost all chief ministers since the 1990s have faced charges of allowing family members interfere in the administration. They include S Bangarappa, whose son Madhu Bangarappa had become the target for opposition parties.
Son-in-law of former chief minister SM Krishna, late VG Siddhartha was also accused of interference when Krishna, now with BJP, headed a Congress government from 1999 to 2004.
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah was no exception. His son Yatheendra and late son Rakesh were accused of attending official meetings in Mysuru region. His confidant and former IPS officer Kempaiah was called ‘Super home minister’.
Deve Gowda, as chief minister (1994-96) faced similar allegations with opposition parties targeting his two sons and daughters-in-law.
Former minister HD Revanna was the target of opposition BJP under the previous JDS-Congress coalition government headed by his younger brother HD Kumaraswamy. He was accused of interfering in various ministries including the home department. He was dubbed ‘Super CM’ by his own partymen.
Former legislative council chairman B L Shankar said: “Growing interference of family members in administration is a dangerous trend for democracy. No person without authority or posting has any business to interfere in government. It’s not only a violation of the Constitution but also the oath of secrecy taken by the chief ministers or ministers.”
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Politics is parochial, hereditary and family obsessed. Allegations of family interference have had far-fetched effect on state politics. In southern and northern states, interference by families have led to the fall of many strong CMs. This invariably distracts democratic political processes and breeds a spoil system and leads to multiple levels of corruption. In cases obvious in Karnataka there are parallel offices operating due to the interference of family members in decision making and in extending favours. It is difficult to stop. Voter resistance can thwart these and party discipline can stop it. But, there’s little hope of it being realised.

Prof Harish Ramaswamy | political analyst

In the present set-up, Yediyurappa is du jour CM and Vijayendra is de facto CM

Siddaramaiah| opposition leader



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Sagar Biswas

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