The shameful political drama ahead of the Rajya Sabha election scheduled to be held in Gujarat on August 8 reveals the depth of malady afflicting the Indian democracy.
The approach of the Centre to defuse the Opposition by luring them using power and legally hounding those unwilling to succumb as well as the edge those attempts receive, are gaining momentum, crushing the Indian democratic systems that have been in existence for almost seven decades. It’s the rumblings of the horse-trading initiated by the BJP to singlehandedly ensure the victory of Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind that is still perpetuating as a series of shifting-allegiances in Bihar and later on in Gujarat and UP. The assessment of the votes Kovind received at the state-level showed that the Opposition particularly the Congress could be split and destabilized. The switching sides by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and the results of the Presidential election lent more confidence and swiftness for the tactics of Amit Shah to effortlessly win the national election in 2019 and the looming assembly polls in Gujarat. The outcome was the six Congress MLAs resigning from the party and joining the BJP within two days in Gujarat. In Uttar Pradesh, two MLCs of the Samajwadi Party and one MLC of the BSP, have given their resignations and pledged allegiance to the BJP. Many of the legislators in Tamil Nadu are hopefully looking forward towards the Centre, ever ready to resign or switch sides. In India, the MLA post has been relegated to a mere saleable commodity in Amit Shah’s political experiments.
The tricky maneuvers and free flow of money by the political parties to make sure that the MLAs who won in the election stay in their fold, are certainly misuse of power. As far as a political party is concerned, what could be more humiliating than sending the party legislators on a ‘trip’ to a resort in Karnataka to protect them from any form of horse-trading and deploying security measures to stop them from joining the opposition camp? However, the methods of retaliatory politics that slaughter democracy adopted by the BJP by conducting Income Tax raids at the residence of Karnataka Minister DK Shivkumar who is hosting the party legislators at the Bengaluru resort and registering a case against him, is far more terrifying. Its certain that using the seats and the power secured by introducing NOTA with the help of Election Commission to overcome the Anti-Defection Act in the Rajya Sabha election and by intimidating the legislators using the police officials and compelling them to resign, it wouldn’t be the interests of the citizens in India that will be safeguarded in the Rajya Sabha. Observing the latest discourses on forming new laws brewing up in the Sangh Parivar camp is alone sufficient to comprehend that it’s the democratic values enshrined in the Constitution which will be uprooted by the political experiments led by Amit Shah using power, money and ploys.
Although the names and flag colours of the political parties that have stopped acquiring political education and modernization of ideas even before decades, are different, the lines of their ideological disparities have become much blurred. The disparities in the approaches of the political parties when there are in and out of power towards the note-ban, GST and stopping the subsidy received by the common man proves that no party has any internal agenda of attaining political knowledge. That a socialist could easily change to a hardcore right winger and a Sangh Parivar supporter could become the national leader of the Congress is the tragic outcome of the politics taking a pitiful route, of it getting reduced to mere skills and expertise to create consensus to win in the elections as they come. Wasn’t Shankar Singh Vaghela, who is the reason behind the new predicament in Gujarat, a former BJP leader? There is no other way to reinforce the rusty Indian democracy without reclaiming political knowledge, democratic discourses as well as broad and ideological agenda.