Opportunism In Indian Politics - Eastern Mirror
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Editorial

Opportunism in Indian Politics

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 21, 2022 11:07 pm

At present, Indian politics is often driven by opportunism rather than morality. This is why we see untimely change of governments by horse trading or formation of governments by warring political parties through post-poll arrangements. In all such cases, democratic set-up of the country becomes the biggest causality as the political parties twist the people’s mandate to suit their purposes. Sadly, many political parties in the country have shown more interest in hanging on to power than ensuring the welfare of the people.

The recent change of government in Bihar is a perfect example of opportunism in Indian politics. The manner in which the Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) joined hands with rival political parties like the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Congress, ditching its pre-poll partner Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has turned democracy into a mockery. Ironically, this is not the first time that JD-U has changed partners to be in power. A few years ago, the party dumped its alliance members RJD and Congress, to embrace BJP. What is more perplexing is that despite all these changes, the ruling coalition has always been headed by Nitish Kumar, the founder of JD-U. It only proves that the changes were effected to keep Nitish Kumar in power. On both occasions, sensing that his relations with the allies were deteriorating, JD-U chief changed partners to survive. Such an act by Nitish Kumar has created a US-like presidential system in Bihar, where the Chief Minister is supreme.

Clearly, this does not bode well for the Indian system where the electorate votes to elect their government for five-year terms. If a government cannot last its full-term, one way to go is midterm elections. But since the late sixties, instead of seeking fresh mandates, political parties have often encouraged horse trading. To check this trend, the government led by late Rajiv Gandhi brought the anti-defection law, which is popularly known as the tenth schedule of the constitution. But quite unfortunately within days of the said law coming to effect, some politicians started misusing it.

Time is ripe to revisit the anti-defection law to end unethical practices in Indian politics. In this regard, it should be noted that the Election Commission (EC) has expressed its reservations about holding by-elections necessitated due to the resignation of a Member of Parliament or Legislative Assembly. According to experts, EC should modify its view in this regard as by-elections are held for various reasons and it can’t be stopped. They suggest it would be better if EC bans the same person from contesting elections by whose resignation the by-election has been necessitated. At the same time, any type of post-poll arrangements should also be discarded as it goes against the mandate of the people. It is hoped that immediate steps will be taken to prevent future political horse trading occurring time and again in Indian politics.

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 21, 2022 11:07:17 pm
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