Emergence of Sangma's dynasty in Indian politics

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Shillong, May 22 (UNI) If 28-year-old Agatha K Sangma is elected as a member of the Lok Sabha from Tura constituency in Meghalaya, it might herald the emergence of Sangma dynasty in Indian politics.

Agatha was introduced into politics by her father Purno A Sangma, former Lok Sabha Speaker, who opposed Sonia Gandhi from assuming the office of the Prime Minister.

Her two elder brothers - Conrad and James - won the Assembly polls earlier this year on NCP tickets. Conrad is the Finance Minister, while James is a parliamentary secretary, a post equivalent to Minister of State in the Meghalaya Progressive Alliance government.

If she wins today's by-elections, then she will be the fourth one from the same family to hold a public office.

Agatha, is contesting after her father decided to quit national politics and successfully contested the March 3 Assembly polls. Mr Sangma, who orchestrated the formation of the MPA government, is the Chairman of the State Planning Board.

''Agatha is fighting hard to retain the seat, which her father represented for nine consecutive terms. She will win the by-election hands down,'' Conrad K Sangma, who is also the NCP spokesman, said.

However, Mr Sangma's critics are accusing him of encouraging dynasty politics by making his children join active politics.

''Not at all. I am not grooming any of my children as my successor. I am only giving them equal opportunity and it is up to them to succeed. If you call it dynastic politics then it is a different kind of dynasty,'' Mr Sangma said.

''I am contesting this by-election not because of family but for the cause of the people,'' Agatha explained.

In fact, Agatha's mother did not agree to her daughter's decision to join politics as she had bigger responsibility in the family.

Agatha, a practising lawyer at the Delhi High Court, is also armed with a masters degree in Environmental Management from the School of Geography, from the University of Nottingham University, UK.

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