Mandate abuse; new politics in post Modi era

The mandate of 2019 is absolutely one sided and there is no debate over the winner, the methodology or the credibility of the mandate, the EVM slur notwithstanding. EVM was the fall back guy for the Opposition in case they lost, as they did, and they did lose massive. The debate is not about the Winners or the Mandate but the manner in which the political developments have followed the 2019 general election.

The rumbling could be heard even as the result unfolded on our TV channels, the cry for Congress Mukt Bharat was almost on the verge being fulfilled by the electorate, the governments in the States of Karnataka & MP could feel the cold shivers of an electoral rout of the Congress. The mandate in Karnataka, a subject of intense debate for months was the prime target as far the supporters of the BJP are concerned. However, things are worse than just the abuse of the mandate. BJP cites Karnataka to bolster its case where the mandate was positively anti Congress and anti JDS but they managed to form an ungainly coalition to keep BJP out of power. The general election was being projected as the litmus test for both Modi and BJP, and an acid test for HD Kumaraswamy.

Where as Karnataka is on expected lines, the wholesale transfer of loyalties in the state of Telangana and Goa of Congress MLAs to TRS and BJP respectively is gross. This followed the changing allegiance of four TDP Rajya Sabha MPs a few are facing investigations in corruption cases. This trend is dangerous for the democracy in the longer run. It is not just a matter of an individual changing his colours, it is the betrayal of the Trust reposed in him by the electorate which going against the popular opinion voted him and made him their representative on a symbol which belongs to a different political party and a different ideology. We understand that the difference in ideology is no longer a curse of untouchability but the fact that the MLA or MP was elected by the people to represent that particular ideology have been betrayed too.

This glaring incongruity is an abuse of the Faith and the Mandate of that particular electorate. The plea that these individuals are acting as conscience keepers of their voice is a fallacy. The plea that the defections as changing colours, changing loyalties and changing character are called in electoral and parliamentary politics is a blatant fraud played upon the gullible electorate. If any representative, an MLA or an MP feels that he has lost the faith in his party and the ideology then he or she must have the courage to repudiate the ideology, the party and resign from his post to contest fresh elections. The Anti Defection Law was made to prevent brazen Horse Trading in assemblies and the Parliament but, it did not deter the more expedient to graft ways out of this law. The two-third majority law is the favourite, in todays politics where BJP enjoys the Pole position, the Congress is being torn asunder by its own elected MLAs in Goa and Karnataka.

The lust for power has blinded the representatives, the loss of privilege has further heightened the fears and insecurity of these representatives who are like fishes out of water. Congress is a waning power is nobody’s guess but the blame must be apportioned by all the players in the field. The conduct of the representative is reprehensible, no doubt about it but what about the party or the ideology which allows such audacious abuse of democratic norms and inducts criminals, corruption accused, rape accused, brokers and mafias. Goa is the shining example of the political expediency, now only one MLA, that is Pramod Sawant, the CM, is originally a BJP-RSS man left in the Goa Government, rest are Turncoats.

BJP always proudly proclaims that it is a party with a difference, it has an ideology to which it is wedded in a manner in which no other party is except perhaps the Communists. However, going by the shenanigans in Goa, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, it seems that BJP is not averse to anyone joining the party. The antecedents of the new members have no bearing on their actions once they have joined the BJP. The Goa husband-wife duo is literally laughing their way to the famed Swiss vaults. Is the Top Brass of BJP really happy with the development cause these defections could not have happened without blessings of both Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. Are both the Bosses of the BJP complicit in arranging such defections is the question which comes to fore.

Is this the manner in which BJP wants to achieve its often repeated slogan of Congress Mukt Bharat also permeates the common men. The wholesale buying is symptomatic of the rot which has set in our democratic politics. It must be presumed that once a criminal joins the Party With A Difference he automatically gets cleansed of his sins of omissions and commissions by his very act of changing loyalties or changing colours. The list of BJP public representatives is full of turncoats, those who belonged to the Congress or any other political dispensation. On last count these turncoats amounted to almost one-third of elected representatives. Is BJP losing its way in its blind pursuit of its goal to make India free from Congress or more importantly free from the Congress ecosystem which has deep roots in the psyche of the institutions, mainstream media, judiciary, education, arts and cultural institutions.

The recent developments around the country are not good for either democracy or the BJP, nor are there any gains from such manoeuvres which lack credibility in the eyes of the common people. The defections points to the larger malaise in our political sphere, the loss of integrity was long compromised by all political players and parties, in politics there are no permanent friends or enemies goes the most abused dictum but the fact that there is absolutely no ideological meeting point makes such defections nothing but an exercise in aggrandisement of power and privilege which comes from associating with the party in power. It is the most fundamental difference which BJP and its ideological parent RSS has emphatically laid emphasis on in its existence for the last 70 years. However, the idea that there should not be any Opposition is violating the spirit of democracy, it is this idea which is pushing BJP towards instigating unsavoury changing of political affiliations while putting the blame on Congress, in its inability to deal with dissension within the Party.

It is nobody’s business to preach principles to a political party especially one whose stars are on ascendency but the fact most voters on either side of the ideological divide are convinced that this is betrayal by both the elected representatives and the BJP. Any self respecting legislator or a parliamentarian who feels the urge to leave the party which gave him the symbol to contest must resign his constituency and seek fresh mandate from the constituents.

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