Herald: Defection is a cancer and it has to be destroyed

Defection is a cancer and it has to be destroyed

11 Jul 2019 05:46am IST
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11 Jul 2019 05:46am IST

Politics in Goa has been hit by a deadly cancer that requires to be rooted out and destroyed before it spreads even further.

Whether this destructionof the malignancy is conducted surgically or electorally does not matter, but this debilitating cancer of defections that has eaten away all propriety in politics just cannot be allowed to feed and grow further in Goa. The frequency of defections is increasing, and has to be stemmed before it magnifies itself and completely destroys the democratic institutions.

Just look at this and think for yourselves. Since March, after the death of Manohar Parrikar, 12 MLAs have split from their original parties and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party. The coups have been organised in such manner that the defecting MLAs escape the anti-defection law by managing to get two-thirds of the original party’s strength to break away. Two Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party MLAs split in March and joined BJP in an early morning coup. And on Wednesday July 10, came the defection of 10 Congress MLAs. Is this why you voted for these party candidates to make them MLAs so that they can betray you?

The latest round of defections was sudden – as sudden and as stormy as the monsoon showers that have been hitting Goa off late after brief periods of sunshine. But we welcome the rain. We do not welcome defections, no matter what the party affliation of the MLA. Defections are not acceptable. These acts undermine democracy and all democratic principles. The MLAs show scant respect for the thousands of voters who believed in the principles of their party and voted for them. They did not vote so that the MLA, once having entered the hallowed halls of the Legislative Assembly, could cross the floor to the other side.

Goan politics on July 10 dropped to its nadir, it cannot slump further, or so we would like to believe. But we have been astounded by the deeds of the MLAs in the past and there is no certainty that the elected politicians may not dare to surprise us again with their actions. 

Congress first lost one MLA, and then two. It gained one in a by-election and has now lost 10 including the MLA it had gained less than two months ago. But, this is not a crisis for Congress. The party should have selected candidates who would stand by it, whatever the situations it would encounter during the term. This is a crisis for Goa, as the MLAs have broken the trust that the voters reposed in them. Since the 2017 election, 15 of the 40 MLAs have changed sides. The compostion of the Legislative Assembly is not the same as it was in March 2017. The first defection took place minutes after the oath taking of the MLAs concluded, and it has not stopped yet. Just how many more MLAs are there in this Legislative Assembly who are willing to defect?

The reason for the elections are never ideological nor any lack of agreement on the part of the MLAs regarding the policies of the party. The reasons proferred for breaking ties with the parent party are that this is for the development of their constituencies, but the fact that they soon accept plums postings in government or in government corporations indicates without doubt just how self-seeking are the intentions when they quit their party. Goa is quite familiar with MLAs changing sides. They have done it before an election, during an election process and after getting elected. Sadly, for the beautiful State and its 1.5 million electorate, it political class has never been able to define itself as an exemplary class to be emulated by the rest of the country.
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