Sworn in on Wednesday as Karnataka’s thirtieth chief minister, Basavaraj Bommai also happens to be the son of a former chief minister. His father S.R. Bommai was chief minister of Karnataka in 1988-199. Basavaraj Bommai became the latest entrant in the elite father-son chief ministers club.
But rather than a novelty, father-son duos making it as chief ministers, is turning out to be quite a regular occurrence in India.
Before Basavaraj Bommai, there have been at least 12 instances where the offsprings of former chief ministers, have gone on to become chief ministers themselves. The list spans almost all parts of the country, with this combination occurring in states like Maharashtra in the west, Odisha in the East, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh to the north.
Interestingly, the trend has been more pronounced in the south of India, with father-son combination making it to the chief minister’s seat in three of the five states here. Apart from the Bommais, Karnataka has seen the Deve Gowda-Kumaraswamy combination as chief ministers. While former prime minister Deve Gowda was chief minister in 1994-96, his younger son H.D. Kumaraswami has helmed the state’s affairs thrice thus far.
In neighbouring Tamil Nadu, current chief minister Stalin’s father, the Late M. Karunanidhi was a five-time chief minister, between 1996 and 2011. While current chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s father, the Late Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy was a two-term chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, between 2004 and 2009.
The eastern state of Odisha, Late Biju Patnaik had two stints as chief minister, first in 1961-63, and then in 1990-95. At present, his son Naveen Patnaik is the chief minister, and has been at the helm for five consecutive terms, ever since he first became chief minister in the year 2000
Other prominent father-son combinations include that of Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Singh in Uttar Pradesh, Shibu Soren and current chief minister Hemant Soren in Jharkhand, Devi Lal and Om Prakash Chautala in Haryana, Shankar Rao Chavan and Ashok Chavan in Maharashtra, Farooq Abdullah and Omar Obdullah in the then state of Jammu and Kashmir.
The state of Jammu and Kashmir has also had a father-daughter chief minister duo in the form of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and Mehbooba Mufti.