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Dynasty a ‘lazy’ word for political succession: Jairam Ramesh

Dynasty is a “lazy” word coined to describe succession in politics, but public representatives have to ultimately go back and get elected, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh said.

He said the country’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru did not launch a dynasty, and that the people who overwhelmingly voted for then premier Indira Gandhi in 1971, threw her out of power in 1977.

Ramesh was speaking at a discussion on ‘Remembering Indira Commemorating Her Centenary’ at the Tata Litfest 2017 here.

“Did Nehru launch a dynasty? No. Did Mrs Gandhi select her successor? Well, it appears that she did select her successor, but my views on dynasty in politics are somewhat different. I think ultimately, people (public representatives) have to go back and get elected,” he said.

“People are accountable. And the same electorate which gave Mrs Gandhi a huge mandate in 1971, threw her out in 1977.

And the same electorate brought her back in 1980.

“Dynasty is a lazy word coined to describe succession in politics. There is accountability, you go back to the people,” the former Union minister said.

A debate on ‘dynastic politics’ came to the fore after Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, in an interaction with students of the University of California in Berkeley recently, said India was run by dynasties. He cited examples of some regional political parties and even Bollywood to back his claim.

The BJP had slammed the Congress scion for his remarks and said merit, not dynasty, drove India’s robust democracy.

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