Indian politics-170 members of assemblies ditched Congress in last four years

 BJP is the biggest beneficiary of these defections as it become new normal in Indian politics

According to the new report released  by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), As many as 170 MLAs left the Indian National Congress (INC) to join another party during the elections that were held between 2016 and 2020. 

42% of MLAs that switched parties during 2016-2020 polls left Congress, 4% left BJP. Most of the MLAs joined BJP after ditching their parties. Congress lost most of its sitting MLAs in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh states.  

Once a mighty political party that ruled India after independence for nearly three decades uninterrupted, Congress has suffered the most as the result of these defections in last four years. Congress leaders have been looking for alternate political platforms to contest elections in the states where Congress has lost significant public support in last one decade. 

ADR analysed the affidavits of 433 MPs and MLAs who changed their parties and re-contested elections in the last five years. Out of the total 405 MLAs who switched parties, 42 per cent were from the Congress while 4 per cent belonged to the BJP.

The ADR analysis pointed out how the BJP gained majorly while Congress was the biggest loser.

The report showed that BJP was the main choice of the re-contesting MLAs, with 182 (44.9% ) joining the BJP. It was followed by 38 MLAs (9.4%) who joined the Congress and 25 MLAs (6.2% ) who joined the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, five Lok Sabha MPs quit the BJP to join another party while five of 12 Lok Sabha MPs who changed parties went to the Congress.

Further, seven Rajya Sabha MPs moved from the Congress to contest elections held between 2016 and 2020. In this period, the report said, 10 out of 16 re-contesting Rajya Sabha MPs joined the BJP.

“It is to be noted that the recent fall of governments in Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, and Karnataka State Assemblies were due to defections of their MLAs,” the report said.

The report cited an absence of value-based politics, lust for money and power, and a strong nexus between money and muscle as reasons behind the defections.

“The principles of democracy rely upon ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’ where ‘interest of citizens’ is of paramount importance in comparison to ‘private interest of our politicians’. This fundamental principle, however, has become skewed with the failing standards of ethical and moral propriety of India’s parliamentary democracy,” said the report.

“The ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ syndrome and the never-ending ‘hunger for power and money’ has become a common practice amongst our Parliamentarians and Political parties. The most plausible reasons behind such defections and switching of parties are absence of value-based politics lust for money and power and a strong nexus between money and muscle,” the report said.

The ADR report further said the growth in average assets of re-contesting MPs and MLAs went up by 39 per cent (Rs 5.85 crore).        

                                                                   Khalid Bhatti 


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