Home Minister Amit Shah’s speech begins in Bagalkot, Karnataka in a sweltering afternoon amidst 35 degree temperature. In his speech, Amit Shah targets the Congress as well as the leaders who left the BJP. Shah says in the rally- Congress does not have a leader to contest elections, so it is in the fray with the help of borrowed leaders.
While addressing the people, Shah further says in the rally, ‘The bankruptcy of the Congress is proved by the fact that it is dependent on the leaders who left the BJP to contest the elections.’ During this, Shah has also made a big claim about the defeat of former CM Jagadish Shettar who went from BJP to Congress.
Shettar had recently left the party and joined Congress after not getting ticket from BJP. Congress has given ticket to Shettar from Hubli Central Assembly. Apart from Shettar, Congress has also nominated Laxman Savadi from BJP as its candidate.
How many defectors from which party in Karnataka?
Congress, BJP and JDS have announced candidates for the 224 seats in Karnataka. JDS has given tickets to the maximum number of 28 defectors. These include leaders from both Congress and BJP.
BJP has given tickets to 17 leaders from other parties. Most of these leaders are those who joined BJP during Operation Lotus in 2019.
BJP has also given ticket to Siddharth Singh, son of Congress’s strong leader Anand Singh. Anant Singh is a minister in Basavaraj Bommai’s government. Anand Singh is also considered close to Reddy Brothers.
The Congress has given the least number of tickets to the defectors this time. In total, the party has given 6 tickets to leaders from other parties. These include the names of Shettar and Laxman Savadi.
Congress President DK Shivakumar told reporters in Delhi that 150 people are ready to come from BJP, but we don’t have space, so everyone is not being taken.
BJP the biggest destination of defectors after 2014
Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) in collaboration with National Election Watch analyzed the data of leaders who defected from 2014 to 2021. According to ADR, 1133 leaders changed parties in these 7 years.
Maximum 399 are included from Congress and 173 from BSP. In many states, the entire unit of the Congress defected and joined the other party. In these 7 years, 144 leaders have also left the BJP.
However, the most favorite place of defectors is BJP. According to ADR, from 2014 to 2021, 426 leaders who were MPs-MLAs have joined BJP. These include 253 MLA level leaders and 173 MP level leaders.
176 MP-MLA level leaders joined the Congress, while 77 people joined the BSP. Sharad Pawar’s NCP and Ram Vilas Paswan’s LGP are also favorite destinations of defectors.
BJP government in 3 states because of defectors
Due to defectors, BJP has been able to form government in 3 states in the last 5 years. The BJP came to power in Karnataka for the first time in 2019 with the support of Congress and JDS defectors. The state had a Congress government led by JDS’s HD Kumaraswamy.
17 Congress MLAs opened a front against Kumaraswamy and announced to withdraw their support. Kumaraswamy’s government fell after the MLAs withdrew their support and the BJP government was formed. Later all the rebel MLAs joined BJP.
In 2019, after Karnataka, the Congress government fell in Madhya Pradesh as well due to defectors. 27 MLAs joined BJP under the leadership of Jyotiraditya Scindia. After this BJP government was formed in the state.
Like Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, BJP government was formed in Maharashtra due to defectors. Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde revolted with 40 MLAs and toppled Uddhav Thackeray’s government.
In 4 states, defectors are the boss in BJP
BJP is not restricting defectors only to win elections and become ministers. In states like Bihar, Bengal, Jharkhand and Assam, leadership has been given to defectors. All four states have more than 100 Lok Sabha seats.
BJP has recently appointed defector Samrat Chaudhary as the state president in Bihar. Samrat, who started his political career since 1990, has lived in parties like RJD, JDU and HAM. BJP is trying to break the Luv-Kush equation of Nitish Kumar through Samrat.
In Bihar’s neighboring Jharkhand also, the leadership is in the hands of defector Babu Lal Marandi. Marandi had joined BJP in 2020. After this he was made the leader of the Legislature Party. However, they are yet to be recognized by the assembly.
Marandi had formed his own party in 2006 after being angry with the BJP high command. Marandi has been the first Chief Minister of Jharkhand and is also a prominent tribal face of the state.
Like Bihar and Jharkhand, the leadership of the MLAs in West Bengal is in the hands of defector Shubhendu Adhikari. Shubhendu Adhikari was a leader of Trinamool Congress and joined BJP ahead of 2021 elections.
Shubhendu is currently the Leader of Opposition in the Bengal Legislative Assembly and remains an attacker against Mamta’s government. Shubhendu defeated Mamta Banerjee in Nandigram seat in 2021.
In Assam, the BJP made Himanta Biswa Sarma the Chief Minister in 2021 itself. Sarma left the Congress and joined the BJP in 2015. The party came to power in Assam for the first time after Sarma joined the BJP.
Why defectors are important to parties?
Are expert in creating atmosphere- Leaders who defected before elections are expert in creating atmosphere through statements. These leaders also get a lot of media footage, due to which the discussion about the concerned party starts among the people in the state.
Not only this, defector leaders also have information about the strategy of other parties. The concerned parties also get the benefit of this. At the same time, with the help of workers and caste equation, the defectors become successful in winning the elections.
Lack of strong candidates- There are many such seats in the assembly and Lok Sabha elections, where according to the equation, the party does not have strong candidates. In such a situation, only defector leaders fill these shortcomings.
By identifying strong leaders according to caste and regional equations, the party tries to bring them into its fold. She also gives a ticket if she is successful. Strong leaders have their own mass base, due to which work is done even if the party’s cadre is weak.
Law is not effective in preventing defection
To prevent defection, 52 amendments were made in the Constitution of India in the year 1985, after which the 10th schedule came into existence. According to this, the Speaker was given the right to take action against the MLAs. In this, the right of action of disqualification was given for their conduct both inside and outside.
However, it has been seen in many cases that despite the complaint, no action has been taken on it. For example, Trinamool Congress had filed a complaint against its 3 MPs Shishir Adhikar, Divyendu Adhikari and Sunil Mandal in 2021, but till now no action has been taken on all three.
In the defection law, there is no rule of any kind of action if two-thirds of the MLAs separate together. It has been seen at many places that MLAs leave the party together to avoid action. The anti-defection law applies only to elected representatives, so politicians, big and small, can easily switch parties.
Now read the story of 3 defectors on the go…
1. Gayalal- In 1967, Gayalal was an MLA from Hodal assembly of Palwal, Haryana. He changed party thrice in 16 hours. First left the Congress and joined the Janata Party. After this, the big leaders started brainstorming and held a press conference in Chandigarh and announced that they would join the Congress.
2. Swami Prasad Maurya- Former UP minister Swami Prasad Maurya is also at the forefront of defection. Maurya was once considered close to Mayawati, but before the 2017 elections, he joined the BJP.
After coming to BJP, Maurya also won the elections and also became a minister, but came to SP before the 2022 elections. However, this time he got defeated on his own seat. Maurya is currently a member of the Legislative Council.
3. Naresh Agarwal- Naresh Agarwal, who was a minister in the Mulayam government, is now in the BJP. In a political career of 40 years, Agarwal has lived in 4 parties. Agarwal, who entered politics from the Congress, founded the All India Democratic Congress in 1997.
Later Mulayam Singh came with Yadav and joined SP. The SP also sent him to the Rajya Sabha, but in 2018 Agarwal moved to the BJP along with his son Nitin. Presently Nitin Yogi is a minister in the cabinet.