If Not Elected, Get Defected

Dr Suresh Mathew Dr Suresh Mathew
01 Mar 2021

If not elected, get enough members defected. This seems to be the strategy of the BJP to come to power in those States where people have not reposed faith in them to form the government. This short cut to power has been tested successfully in many States in the last few years. The latest victim of this travesty of parliamentary democracy is Puducherry where the Congress-led government fell after many of its MLAs quit the party and some of them joined the BJP. The country got to see the BJP forming governments in Goa, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh after MLAs of rival parties, mainly from the Congress, were made to defect and join it. This bizarre political drama is the anti-thesis of electoral verdict on which parliamentary democracy thrives. 

Congress-mukt Bharat is the avowed strategy of the saffron party. Top leaders of the party have parroted it several times. But the tactics adopted to achieve this goal is anything but democratic. In a parliamentary democracy, people mostly vote for candidates on party lines.  They vote for a candidate of a particular party because both the voters and the voted believe in a particular ideology. But many elected representatives are seen jumping the ship apparently on considerations other than ideology. Unfortunately, this political degeneration is gaining momentum as seen never before. The craze for power has made political morality and decorum to fall by the wayside.

Puducherry episode apparently brought out the desperation of the BJP to dislodge an elected government though hardly two months were left for the Union Territory to go to polls. If the party has faith in people, it should have waited for the announcement of elections and sought their votes based on its agenda in poll manifesto. They should have played the game in a fair manner instead of enacting the drama of resignation of MLAs. The behaviour of the MLAs, who have resigned from the parties in whose ticket they had been elected, is ‘injurious’ to the health of democracy. Their act of joining another party which holds diametrically opposite principles and ideology has more to it than meets the eye.

The extend to which political parties ‘stoop to conquer’ could well spell doom for democracy. Bypassing electoral verdicts through backdoor will lead to authoritarianism and dictatorship. If this trend is allowed to continue, elections, from panchayat to Parliament, would become mere constitutional formalities, only to be overturned later. Prime Minister Narendra Modi often speaks of ‘one-nation, one-election’. In a country where elected governments are toppled every now and then, this proposal has no meaning. Stability of governments is the pre-requisite for this proposition to be successful. Every party wants to spread its wings across the State or country. This should be achieved by winning the trust and confidence of the people. Anti-defection law has failed to achieve its aim and objective as parties manage to dodge it by hook or crook. Commitment of parties and elected representatives to hard-earned democracy alone will retrieve the situation from further degeneration.  


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