The disgrace inflicted by the extremely dramatic events related to the election to three Rajya Sabha seats from Gujarat, on the country’s democratic culture, cannot be easily erased.
The lawmaking bodies are considered the most sanctified institutions in our democratic system. Rajya Sabha has always been given more prominence than the Lok Sabha and state assemblies. It’s the members of the state assembly who choose the members of the Rajya Sabha. There is also a norm of choosing those who have proved their expertise in different areas such as knowledge, literature, law and science to the Rajya Sabha. Vice President of the country is the chairman of the Rajya Sabha. It is unfortunate that the election to such a House witnessed an utterly deplorable political drama in Gujarat. It proves that the politicians do not particularly have any inhibitions in humiliating our sacred national institutions for political gains.
BJP president Amit Shah, union minister Smriti Irani and Congress leader Ahmed Patel were the main contenders in Gujarat poll. Given the member strength in the Gujarat assembly, BJP was expected to win two seats while Congress was expected to secure one seat. Congress candidate Ahmed Patel is close to Sonia Gandhi and a popular leader at the national level. The BJP adopting filthy tactics to ensure the victory of its candidate Balwant Singh Rajput by foiling Patel’s chances of reaching Rajya Sabha was what made the election a playground for dirty political games.
The Congress had flown its legislators to a resort in Bengaluru, owned by Karnataka party leader DK Shivakumar, fearing that the BJP led by Amit Shah might lure them. Just imagine the predicament of having had to corral the party legislators at a resort in the neighbouring state in order to avoid succumbing to the temptations by another party. If this is the face of our democracy, what’s the use of such a system? When the BJP failed to win over the Congress legislators, the party threatened to intimidate Shivakumar by registering a case, launching a probe against him and raiding his residence using the Income Tax department.
The Central government also ordered raids at his business establishments and hotels. Finally when the election happened, the BJP succeeded in securing the votes of two Congress MLAs in its favour. Congress received the vote of a BJP MLA. The Election Commission’s move to cancel the votes of two Congress MLAs who had publicly displayed the ballot paper, cleared the path for Ahmed Patel. The Election Commission headquarters in Delhi on Tuesday night witnessed a political drama in connection with the above happenings.
Luring the MLAs with money and promises, corralling them to keep the flock together and stealthily taking them to places are usually seen in many states during times of non-confidence motion. The credit for presenting this horseplay even in the Rajya Sabha election goes only to the BJP and Amit Shah. The BJP, only two days ago, became the main opposition in Tripura after succeeding in luring the Trinamool Congress MLAs to their fold. The saffron party has been carrying out activities that internally destroy our political culture and democratic system. The Sangh Parivar brigade lacks respect ideologically, towards the democratic system existing in India. They are on their way to destabilize and thereby destroy each and every element of our country’s political system. Nobody could be blamed for being skeptical about whether the games in Gujarat were part of the scheme to undermine and destroy democracy.
Despite the dramatic turns of events, Ahmed Patel’s victory to the Rajya Sabha has boosted the confidence of the Congress. It will also further help them face the Gujarat assembly election scheduled to be held this year end. Congress has several experiences of things going out of control and losing opportunities due to its failure in displaying the required diligence. When the poll results came out in Goa and Manipur, they lost power due to lack of cautiousness. Let the experiences in Gujarat compel the party to weave political tactics with diligence.