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NCP crisis: From Thackeray vs Thackeray to Pawar vs Pawar, 5 times when 'chacha-bhatija' tussle split parties

NCP crisis: Indian politicians display multiple shades of drama in a bid to grab power within the party. Even family members resort to engaging in ugly fights for a larger share in the party. Here are stories about 'chacha-bhatija' power tussles.

Written By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: July 05, 2023 23:26 IST
Infamous chacha-bhatija tussles over controlling parties
Image Source : INDIA TV Infamous chacha-bhatija tussles over controlling parties

NCP crisis: A family drama over power sharing in a party in Indian politics is not new. In recent times, family-based political parties witnessed ugly slugfest between kin. Often, when a member of a family especially a younger one seeks a bigger share in the party, he faces the wrath of elders and ended with the elimination from the party. Subsequently, several prominent political families suffered revolts led by ambitious kin. Interestingly, 'chacha' and 'bhatija' (uncle and nephew) often resort to a dramatic tussle to control the party. The fresh incident is seen in Maharashtra's National Congress Party (NCP) in which uncle Sharad Pawar and nephew Ajit Pawar waged a war against each other to control the party. 

However, it is not an ideal situation in a democratic setup. Though, experts say challenging political dynast is a good thing for democracy. Such tussle will strengthen 'Loktantra' (democracy).

Here are 5 incidents when 'chacha-bhatija' locked themselves in ugly fights

  1. Pawars: NCP chief Sharad Pawar was checkmated by nephew Ajit Pawar as the junior Pawar revolted against him. Ajit took everyone by surprise joining the NDA government on July 2. He took oath as Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra triggering a revolt within the party. By taking around 35 MLAs with him, Ajit outsmarted his uncle. No wonder, if he gets control of the party after a long-expected legal battle in line with Shiv Sena.
  2. Thackerays: The second most popular 'chacha-bhatija' battle was also seen in Maharashtra. When Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray was alive his nephew Raj Thackery believed himself to be the heir of his uncle. However, his dream did not live for long as Balasaheb displayed strong favour for his son Uddhav Thackery. After being sidelined by his uncle in Shiv Sena, Raj resigned from the party in November 2005 and founded his own party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) in 2006.India Tv - Raj Thackeray formed his own party in 2006
    Image Source : PTIRaj Thackeray formed his own party in 2006
  3. Yadavs: Samajwadi Party (SP) leaders- Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav were at loggerheads over power-sharing in the party which ended with ousting of Shivpal from the party. In December 2016, when Akhilesh was Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, he sacked his uncle- a senior minister in his Cabinet. However, Akhilesh's father Mulayam Singh Yadav defended his brother. After a few days, irked with Akhilesh decision, Mulayam expelled him from the party. The matter moved to Election Commission and subsequently, the nephew won the battle. Later, Shivpal formed his own party Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party - Lohia (PSPL). Interestingly, as the saying goes all's well that ends well, the chacha-bhatija got united and Shivpal merged his party with SP in 2022.India Tv - Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav buried the hatchet in 2022
    Image Source : PTIAkhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav buried the hatchet in 2022
  4. Paswans: Bihar's popular Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan's son Chirag Paswan and his uncle Pashupati Kumar Paras engaged in a similar ugly fight over controlling Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) after the death of senior Paswan in 2020. The party was split into two- Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas)- led by Chirag and Rashtriya Lok Janshakti Party headed by Paras. India Tv - Chirag Paswan braved a coup led by his uncle
    Image Source : PTIChirag Paswan braved a coup led by his uncle
  5. Chautalas: Former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala's family faced similar trouble in which uncle Abhay Chautala and nephew Dushyant Chautala locked horns over power sharing in Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). The chacha-bhatija battle concluded with the split of the party. Dushyant formed a new party- Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) in 2018. Now, JJP is a part of the NDA government and nephew Dushyant is Deputy CM of Haryana.

Also read- Sharad Pawar was removed as NCP chief on June 30, claims Ajit Pawar's camp


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