Politicians are known to not shy away from nurturing their progenies to carry on the baton. However, Union minister Ramdas Athawale seems a tad too eager to join the league.
In a move that is perhaps unprecedented in regional politics, the Dalit leader, who is the Minister of State for Social Justice, today formed the “children wing” of his party, RPI(A), and made his school-going son Jeet its head.
Jeet is only 12.
Athawale, whose party is an NDA ally, wields some influence in the scattered Dalit landscape of Maharashtra.
However, the Republican Party of India (Athawale) has no representative in the state Legislative Assembly.
Political parties of various hues have utilised Athawale, considered a lightweight in state politics, at different times as per their needs, mainly to court the Dalit vote.
Athawale announced the formation of the children wing of RPI (A) under Jeet in suburban Chembur in east Mumbai, a party statement said.
Not only that, Jeet “appointed” other “leaders” — all children — of the wing for suburban Chembur, parts of which have a significant Dalit population.
The party has not yet announced the domain of this wing and the kind of issues to be taken up by them.
Another regional party, Shiv Sena, which has a linear structure of succession in place, had seen the appointment of party president Uddhav Thackeray’s son Aaditya at the age of 20, almost seven years ago. The junior Thackeray heads Yuva Sena or the youth wing of the party.