New Delhi: As many as 170 MLAs left the Indian National Congress (INC) to join another party during the elections that were held between 2016 and 2020, according to a new report by poll rights group Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR).
In comparison, only 18 MLAs left the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to join a different party to contest elections during this period, said the report released Thursday.
ADR analysed the affidavits of 433 MPs and MLAs who changed their parties and re-contested elections in the last five years. Out of the total 405 MLAs who switched parties, 42 per cent were from the Congress while 4 per cent belonged to the BJP.
The ADR analysis pointed out how the BJP gained majorly while Congress was the biggest loser.
The report showed that BJP was the main choice of the re-contesting MLAs, with 182 (44.9 per cent) joining the BJP. It was followed by 38 MLAs (9.4 per cent) who joined the Congress and 25 MLAs (6.2 per cent) who joined the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
During the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, five Lok Sabha MPs quit the BJP to join another party while five of 12 Lok Sabha MPs who changed parties went to the Congress.
Further, seven Rajya Sabha MPs moved from the Congress to contest elections held between 2016 and 2020. In this period, the report said, 10 out of 16 re-contesting Rajya Sabha MPs joined the BJP.
“It is to be noted that the recent fall of governments in Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Goa, Arunachal Pradesh, and Karnataka State Assemblies were due to defections of their MLAs,” the report said.
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Fundamental principle now skewed, says report
The report cited an absence of value-based politics, lust for money and power, and a strong nexus between money and muscle as reasons behind the defections.
“The principles of democracy rely upon ‘government of the people, by the people and for the people’ where ‘interest of citizens’ is of paramount importance in comparison to ‘private interest of our politicians’. This fundamental principle, however, has become skewed with the failing standards of ethical and moral propriety of India’s parliamentary democracy,” said the report.
“The ‘Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram’ syndrome and the never-ending ‘hunger for power and money’ has become a common practice amongst our Parliamentarians and Political parties. The most plausible reasons behind such defections and switching of parties are absence of value-based politics lust for money and power and a strong nexus between money and muscle,” the report said.
The ADR report further said the growth in average assets of re-contesting MPs and MLAs went up by 39 per cent (Rs 5.85 crore).
(Editing by Amit Upadhyaya)
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