Policy Report No. 25

The Phenomenon of Political Dynasties Among the Muslim Legislators of Uttar Pradesh

This report on the phenomenon of political dynasties among Muslims in Uttar Pradesh is an empirical enquiry into the extent it has impacted the legislature. The report bases its findings in the fieldwork conducted in Uttar Pradesh to determine the dynastic credentials of Muslim legislators over the last two decades, and finds that the more marginalised a community, the larger the number of political dynasties it will have in the Legislature. Muslim political representation in the State legislature is just 6 per cent in the current assembly, while Muslim dynast MLAs account for 60 per cent. Most Muslim political dynasts are relatively young and politically inexperienced, but that hasn't prevented them from being re-nominated. If family connections have helped them to secure party tickets, they have also changed their party allegiances more often than their non-dynast counterparts. In Uttar Pradesh, both dynast and non-dynast Muslim legislators tend not only to be wealthy but also have a large number of serious criminal cases against them. To study this subject, I assembled the profiles of these dynastic candidates including details such as age, education, the process by which they were nominated and re-nominated, whether they switched political parties, and whether they have a criminal background: all this has been recorded in the primary dataset created for this report.

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