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Easy Pickings


It seemed that the ‘Aam Aadmi Party’ was merely seeking to draw attention to itself in the ongoing electoral season when it accused the BJP of asking its MLAs to defect, but it seems there is merit in the apprehension. This is borne out, once again, by the crossing over of eight (of eleven) Congress legislators to the BJP in Goa. Earlier, the Maha Vikas Aghadi government was toppled in Maharashtra by winning over Shiv Sena MLAs under Eknath Shinde’s leadership. In fact, in hindsight, it can be said that, very probably, Nitish Kumar pre-empted such moves in Bihar by doing the defecting himself.

It would seem that the political class knows more than anybody else what is the purpose of fighting elections and forming governments – adherence to ideologies is for losers. The use of power for furtherance of one’s interests and those of one’s near and dear ones takes priority – as has become more than evident in Uttarakhand with recent revelations. So similar are the BJP and Congress in the state that it makes no difference to their electability if ‘leaders’ cross the floor as many times as suits them. Some have succeeded in turning their constituencies into impregnable fortresses, so don’t care much about such trivial matters as performing their constitutional duties.

It is a matter of concern for the voters, though, who vote one way or the other because they believe the parties represent some ideology or developmental vision. Presently, the BJP enjoys widespread support because of its ‘nationalistic’ and ‘development’ pitch. The present central government through its actions seems to be holding course in this context, but will its resolve weaken as a result of the short-cut to power through induction of defectors? The eight erstwhile Congress MLAs in Goa would have been promised tickets in the coming elections. What about the loyal BJP aspirants who ‘believed’ in the party and served it for many years? Why should the BJP be jeopardising the faith of its workers and supporters in its ideology through such compromises? Like Arjun, it should keep its eye on the target and not be distracted by what may seem easy pickings. Maya has many ways to lure people from the path of righteousness, so beware.