The Party with a Difference is Laying Out the Red Carpet for the Turncoats!

  • The Bharatiya Janata Party prides itself on being a party with a difference. The party never lets go of an opportunity to convey this to the world by highlighting this aspect, especially in the backdrop of comparison with the Grand Old Party has not gone unnoticed by the people inclined towards political happenings in the country. Of course, the ideology followed by the two main national parties is completely opposed to each other. No wonder the debate between the two parties always veers towards communal versus secular. Thrown in between for good measure is the debate about the polarization of society on these lines further exacerbating the already vitiated political atmosphere. We are aware of a unique phenomenon afflicting our political class jumping from one party to another in a jiffy.


PC: Mint

  • How do you think the oft-repeated moniker in the form of Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram was invented in the first place? It signifies how our political leaders are so consummate in switching sides when they perceive greener pastures on the other side. It makes for an interesting read when a leading newspaper’s analysis of BJP’s ongoing Lok Sabha candidates shows that nearly 25% are from other parties joining the party after 2014. Even in UP, almost a third of BJP candidates, 23 of 74, joined the party over the last decade. The self-proclaimed ideology-led party has been strikingly pragmatic in picking up politicians of all kinds, ideology being the last consideration. Does it mean the BJP is not a party with a difference but one among the others out there? Let’s delve into it.
  • Some opposition parties say the moment tainted leaders jump wagon into the BJP fold, their perceived sins are turned pure. We know how law enforcement agencies like the CBI, ED, and IT are pursuing cases against several opposition leaders. Mind you, politicians, on their part, have found it prudent to switch to further their careers and secure a foreseeable future. Like corporations seeking expansion if not diversification, BJP has grown its footprint across states to acquire politicians with perceptible heft, who can carry to BJP their vote shares of previous electoral wins, regardless of ideology. The weighted distance between a party’s election rhetoric and its selection of candidates is a puzzle for voters to solve.

Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram

PC: The Week

  • Nominees who are defectors are mostly multi-millionaires, if not the top taxpayers. Elections are costly business. In its modern-day avatar, in constituencies where the cadre strength is absent, or party workers are unwilling to work for a defector-nominee – as reports from UP have suggested – it is the political consultancy that is hired for campaign minutiae, including doling out perks for grassroots-level community heads. The last group has the onerous task of shepherding the votes – those miffed and those uncaring – towards the defector-candidate. But BJP realizes not all defections can be welcomed. In conclusion, how many defector-nominees win, especially where BJP has a state-level presence, will be the measure of its HR policy.