Bangalore, May 25: A hint of a silver lining shimmers at the edges of the poor show by the Janata Dal (Secular) in the Assembly polls. In Karnataka now, only one dynasty seems to matter and its the Gowdas.
Except for former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowdas sons, Kumaraswamy and Revanna, all the scions of political dynasties have fallen by the wayside in this state election.
The Bangarappa family has been routed with both father and sons losing heavily. Ditto with the children of several other ex-chief ministers.
Mamtha Hegde Nichani, daughter of former Union minister and Karnataka chief minister Ramakrishna Hegde, lost from Ramanagaram to Gowdas son and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy.
The Congress had fielded Mamtha, a first-timer, allegedly after an astrologer predicted that only women could defeat the Gowda men.
Gowdas elder son H.D. Revanna too defeated a woman Congress candidate from the Holenarsipura Assembly seat, punching a hole in the theory and leaving the Congress red-faced.
Ramachandra Guha, historian and commentator, said there was a paradox in the Gowda familys victory since the party as a whole had fared badly mainly because it had become a family concern.
The brothers wins only reflect the fact that family is first priority, he said.
The other most talked-about family in the Karnataka election was that of former chief minister S. Bangarappa. The ailing former Shimoga strongman, who fought on a Samajwadi Party ticket, himself lost to the BJPs chief minister candidate, B.S. Yeddyurappa, from Shikaripura.
His two sons, fighting to salvage the fathers traditional bastion of Sorab, too lost. Actor Kumar Bangarappa, a two-time MLA and former minister, was a Congress candidate while his brother Madhu contested on a Samajwadi ticket.
Former chief minister J.H. Patels son Mahima lost from Channagiri after floating a party just before the polls.
The results did not surprise Guha, who said there had been diminishing returns for dynastic politics across India and Karnataka did not seem an exception. Converting political identity to a family firm has not gone down well with voters across the country.
Conversely, Guha said, politicians with no children or successors are doing very well. They include chief ministers Narendra Modi, Mayavati, Nitish Kumar and Naveen Patnaik.
Dinesh Gundu Rao, another former chief ministers son, bucked the trend in the Karnataka polls by barely scraping through. Rao, a two-time MLA from Gandhi Nagar and a former state Youth Congress chief, won from Bangalore. So did Krishna Byregowda, son of former minister and Janata Dal leader C. Byre Gowda.