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Loss of trust: On the trust vote in Puducherry

By engineering defections in Puducherry, the BJP might have lost more than it gained

Parliamentary democracy thrives not just through adhering to the letter of the law but also by building and respecting healthy precedents and conventions. This was given a go-by when the Centre, in June 2017, nominated three BJP functionaries as MLAs. There was nothing illegal about it, but this raised questions of political propriety in the light of the BJP drawing a blank in the 2016 Assembly election. When one of the nominated MLAs died in mid-January this year, the ruling party at the Centre lost no time in nominating an office bearer of the party to fill the vacancy, though the term of the present House ends on June 8. The recent events have to be seen against the backdrop of the BJP’s efforts to gain a foothold in the Union Territory, where its principal adversary, the Congress, has been the pole star. Besides, for the last few years, the BJP has been relentlessly attacking the Narayanasamy regime. The month-long resignation drama can only be seen as part of the BJP’s larger game plan of realising its goal of “Congress-mukt Bharat” (Congress-free India). There would have been no objection to the BJP’s pursuit had it played the game in a fair manner. The BJP should be aware that any negative role on its part will not go well with the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who, in his first monthly radio address, Mann Ki Baat, after getting re-elected in May 2019, said: “…beyond laws and rules, democracy is embedded in our sanskaar [tradition]; democracy is our culture. Democracy is our heritage.” By engineering defections so close to the election, the BJP might have lost more than it gained.

 

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