Source: 
News9 Live
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Date: 
10.09.2021
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Congress has suffered the maximum number of defections since 2014, while the BJP was the biggest gainer since Narendra Modi became the prime minister of the country, a report by the Association for Democratic Reform (ADR) has said. Out of the total defections, nearly 35 per cent of MLAs and MPs defected from the Congress between 2014-2021, compared to a mere seven per cent defectors from the BJP, the analysis said. Around 35 per cent of lawmakers who had defected joined the BJP, the report added. Twenty per cent of the Congress' poll candidates left the party followed by Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which lost 14 per cent of its candidates to other parties. Unsurprisingly, a majority of the electoral candidates who defected landed in the BJP.

The report is based on the analysis of self-sworn affidavits of 1,133 electoral candidates and 500 MPs and MLAs, who defected and contested elections during Lok Sabha and Assembly elections since 2014.

Congress continues to bleed A total of 399 leaders from the Congress party defected in the last seven years, the report noted. Apart from several small-time leaders, the party also saw many bigwigs resigning after the Modi-led BJP replaced the UPA government in 2014. Among those who left the Congress are two young leaders - All India Mahila Congress President Sushmita Dev and former Union Minister

Jitin Prasada. But the big loss for the party came in 2020 when Jyotiraditya Scindia quit the Congress. Scindia’s resignation had ripple effects on the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, which collapsed soon. BJP returned to power in the state with the help of Scindia. Scindia was inducted into the Modi cabinet this year and was appointed as the Minister for Civil Aviation. The Congress is also facing internal turmoil in states like Punjab, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. This trend of defections had prompted Late PM Rajiv Gandhi to bring in the anti-defection law in 1985.

‘Aya Ram gaya Ram’ syndrome It was in 1967 when the famous ‘aya Ram gaya Ram’ term was coined. In the year, Gaya Lal, an independent MLA had joined the Congress party. He later defected to the United Front -- a coalition government. Lal then returned back to the party within days. However, Lal didn’t stop there. Nine hours after returning to the Congress, he again defected back to the United Front. All of this took place in the span of a fortnight. Congress leader Rao Birendra, who was instrumental in Lal’s defection back to the Congress, had said in a press conference: “Gaya Ram is now Aaya Ram” -- giving birth to the popular phrase in Indian politics, which is being used as a euphemism for horse-trading. Since then the country has seen several politicians switching back and forth between political parties. The recent ‘aya Ram gaya Ram’ analogies can be drawn from West Bengal Assembly elections, where many leaders from the Trinamool Congress, who had joined the BJP, returned to the Mamata Banerjee-led party. “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 principal, however, has become skewed with the failing standards of ethical and moral propriety of India’s parliamentary democracy. 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,” ADR noted in its report. ‘Crorepati’ candidates The ADR report highlighted several defected candidates whose assets were in crores. Out of the 1,133 re-contesting candidates, 706 -- 62 per cent -- are crorepatis, the report said. And out of the 500 re-contesting MPs and MLAs, 419 -- 84 per cent -- are crorepatis. “As a step towards free and fair elections, there should be cancellation of tax exemption given to the political parties who deliberately give tickets to undeserving, dishonest, corrupt, moneyed and tainted candidates. In addition, the Election Commission of India (ECI) should exercise powers under Article 324 of the Constitution to de-register and de-recognise any political party if it knowingly puts up such candidates,” the report said in its recommendations.

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