Raksha Bandhan is a day to celebrate love and warmth between siblings. And politics hardly seems to be the right place for these emotions. Indian politics is a place of rivalry and mudfight. But between these screaming struggles there are some relationships beyond the usual hardships of politics – that between brothers and sisters. In this Raksha Bandhan we take a look at some of the power siblings of Indian politics.
Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi
Any repetition of power siblings in Indian politics would not be complete without the mention of Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi. The Gandhi offspring are the children of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia, the current President of the Indian National Congress. The duo are equally popular in politics, despite the diverse roles they have played over the years. While Rahul has always been projected as the future face of the great old party, enjoying the legacy of his illustrious parents and grandparents, Sister Priyanka has not played an active role in politics but enjoys almost equal influence and popularity. According to observers, despite her apparent popularity and interest in her political career, the younger Gandhi sprout chose to stay away from active politics rather than focus on her family until recently. Both Gandhis were seen campaigning for Rahul during the last general election. Interest in the political careers of the two Gabndhis remains high. But despite the high level of attention, the duo seem to have kept their closeness to each other. At least if you can believe the social media, in which the duo often posts pictures and posts about or for mutual support.
The Yadav clan
The children of the former Prime Minister of Bihar, Lalu Prasad Yadav, form another political sibling family. Yadav’s sons Tej Pratap and Tejashwi were both active in the political scene in Bihar, with Tejashwi being the current opposition leader in the state. Tej Pratap was appointed Bihar’s Environment Minister in 2015. Lalu’s eldest daughter Misa Bharti is the third oldest sibling among the Yadavs and, like the rest of her family, she has joined Rashtriya Janata Dal. While her 2014 election innings were unsuccessful on an RJD ticket, she was named as the party’s Rajya Sabha candidate and elected without a dissenting vote. However, recent reports have indicated that tensions between the Yadav siblings with Tej Pratap and Misa are reportedly dissatisfied with Tejashwi’s appointment as Lalu’s heir. As the Yadavs challenge the political leadership in Bihar, many eyes are on the Yadav siblings and the relationship between the siblings could determine the future of RJD’s electoral performance in later polls.
Another trio of politically powerful siblings come from Rajasthan’s royal Scindia family. Madhavarao, Yashodhara and Vasundhra Raje are the children of the last ruler of Gwalior. However, the three chose different paths. While Madhavarao was joining Congress, sisters Yashodhara and Vasundhara elected the BJP. The latter is the former CM of Rajasthan. Madahavrao, on the other hand, died in a car accident in 2001 and his son Jyotiraditya Scindia followed in his footsteps in Congress until last year when Scindia joined the BJP citing differences. The Scindia family remains an important political and influential family in Rajasthan.
Omar Abdullah and Sarah Pilot
Omar Abdullah and sister Sarah Pilot are often compared to Rahul and Priyanka and are another illustrious brother-sister duo in Indian politics. He belongs to the famous Abdullah dynasty of Jammu and Kashmir. The duo was born to former J&K chief minister Farooq Abdullah, chairman of the Jammu & Kashmir National Conference. After an early foray into politics, Omar joined the 12th Lok Sabha at the age of 29, making him the youngest. At the age of 49, the JKNC president became prime minister as did his father. Sara Pilot, Farooq’s daughter, has chosen to stay out of active politics but has played a visible role in empowering women in Kashmir. She also sparked controversy when she married her friend and scion of another political family – the pilots – by marrying Sachin Pilot from Rajasthan. Sara also works as a yoga teacher and generally holds back.
Jawaharlal Nehru and Vijay Laxmi Pandit
This power sibling duo dates back to before independence. Both Jawaharlal Nehru and his sister Vijay Laxmi Pandit were politically active from an early age and shaped the country in countless ways. While Nehru became India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit is known to be the first woman to hold a cabinet post in free India.
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