The Hindu reported that Poonam Mahajan, BJP candidate for Mumbai North-Central, has said, “It’s not fair to say I benefited from dynasty. I have worked for the party for the last eight years. It has tried and tested me.”
As far as I could remember, other than occasionally appearing on Page 3, Poonam Mahajan has done hardly any work for the BJP or for the country. However, the Wikipedia page on her says that she “joined the BJP as a normal member of the party, with the encouragement of her uncle Gopinath Munde, himself an ex-Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra state. Now she’s national secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party.”
I asked a few people who generally follow politics, a question:
In your opinion, how much did dynasty (Pramod Mahajan’s daughter, Gopinath Munde’s niece) matter in BJP giving Poonam Mahajan a ticket?
Of the 15 persons who replied, 14 said dynasty was the ONLY factor in her party giving her a ticket. 1 person said, “No idea”. Please note that 11 of these persons live in Mumbai North-Central or have been living there till recently. At least 2 of them are staunch BJP supporters.
While this is not a large enough sample, it gives sufficient indication of the public perception that Poonam Mahajan got her party ticket mainly, perhaps only, because of dynasty.
Poonam Mahajan is not the only ‘young’ politician who has been air-dropped into politics by dynasty. All political parties have such persons in large numbers. One is also a Prime Ministerial aspirant.
After being given some position in their respective parties, most of these persons have done some work for their parties. However, very few have done sufficient work and achieved results that would enable them to claim that they have reached their present positions mainly on the basis of merit. If the ticket had been given only on the basis of merit, somebody else would have been given the ticket. To be blunt, the candidate’s ‘winnability’ is not really a factor in Lok Sabha elections. For example, even if Poonam Mahajan defeats sitting Congress MP Priya Dutt, it will be because of a combination of the anti-Congress/UPA wave and the Modi wave.
When Poonam Mahajan and others like her have clearly benefited from dynasty, why do they claim that it is their ‘work’ that has brought them to their present high positions? Are they in denial? Or is it merely their sense of entitlement or, in other words, the arrogance of inheritance?