|HOME | NEWS | ELECTIONS '98 | REPORT|
|January 31, 1998|
The family way
It's called dynastic politics. And it arrived in the North-East just the other day.
The men behind the introduction are two, both chief ministers: Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, ruler of Assam and Gegong Apang, ruler of Arunachal Pradesh.
Mahanta's way of doing it was through wife Dr Jayashree Goswami. Last Friday, shortly after noon, he sent Goswami out to file her nomination papers as the Asom Gana Parishad candidate in Nagaon -- and thus made history, becoming the first CM to field his better half. (Laloo Prasad Yadav's making his lady the Queen of Bihar is another league altogether!)
The mother of three, Dr Mahanta has passed many phases -- writing children's books, conducting research on frogs and the like -- before arriving at electoral politics. Her arrival, however, has shot many an eyebrow into the hairline both within and out of the party, as she replaces three-time MP and Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Muhiram Saikia.
On the other hand, things have been comparatively easy for Omak Apang, son of the country's second longest-serving chief minister. An MBA from Slovenia, the 27-year-old has true-blue politicians like Tomo Riba to contend with in the west Lok Sabha seat. Omak is riding a ticket from the Arunachal Congress, the party which his father founded in 1996 after walking out from the Congress.
Interestingly, both the CMs are at pains to proclaim they had 'nothing to do' with these 'dynastic' nominations. Everything was decided by other party leaders, not us, both chorus.
Although most party leaders are keeping mum about Dr Goswami's nomination, two senior ministers have reportedly expressed their reservations. But Mahanta is undaunted -- as is his wife, who has already hit the campaign trail with great gusto.
Omak, meanwhile, is finding the going quite smooth. No controversy surrounded his nomination and, with the Opposition in a shambles, it looks like a not-so-tough ride. The only thorn in his flesh is former chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party candidate Tomo Riba, who is making sustained efforts to make it to Parliament.
INFOTECH | TRAVEL | LIFE/STYLE | FREEDOM | FEEDBACK