In Naidu’s earlier stint, he was seen as one politician who was so focused on his work that he gave no thought to the promotion of his family. His wife was rarely seen even though other members of his family were in politics. So we came to expect the rare meritocrat in politics who spoke so eloquently about his blueprint to make Andhra Pradesh a manufacturing and IT hub. But when it comes to the crunch, he too seems to feel the need to promote a close family member whom he can trust, hence his son’s imminent induction into the cabinet. The normal excuse given for this sort of nepotism is that the `people’ want such relatives in politics as they are seen as a chip of the old block. In some cases, it is taken to extremes as we have seen. Sasikala feels entitled to the top slot by mere association with the late elected chief minister as do her myriad relatives. In some cases, an undeserving relative is chosen to keep the seat warm for a politician who may be facing charges and hence unable to occupy the position. And in many cases, the sycophants in the party seem unable to see beyond a particular family. Many in the Telugu Desam have hailed the proposed elevation as a great life-saver for the party. Chandrababu Naidu may have portrayed himself as a self-made politician but let us not forget that he too was not without dynastic connections. He is the son-in-law of late chief minister of the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh NT Rama Rao and was able quite effectively to eclipse his stepmother-in-law to take over the party. So, in a way, he is running true to type with his son’s elevation. So much for the politician with a difference.
N Chandrababu Naidu N Lokesh Son Dynasty K Chandrashekhar Rao