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Politics of Defections and BJP Strategy in Karnataka

Defection and re-election of the members of the legislative assembly in Karnataka is part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s larger strategy in the state. This strategy aims to broad-base the party across castes and communities and ensure its autonomy from being dependent on any of them. In the face of this strategy, the Congress has the challenge of defining its social identity.

If you employ a moral yardstick, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka will find it difficult to wriggle itself out from charges of inducing elected representatives belonging to the Indian National Congress (INC) and the Janata Dal (Secular)—JD(s) to defect, welcome them to its fold and ensure that most of them get re-elected as its members. Apart from much pelf and goodies that the latter have allegedly received, they have also been promised berths in the state cabinet. Moral considerations apart, political ambitions of many loyal BJP leaders have been thwarted in the process and they were made to campaign for candidates who were their bitter rivals a few months ago. Why did the BJP resort to this adventure when it was, unquestionably, the pre-eminent party in the country? Is it meant to merely satisfy the chief ministerial aspirations of a septuagenarian leader, B S Yediyurappa, as the media speculated, or to recraft the party, and the future of the state in a new direction?

Resurrecting Defecting Legislators

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Updated On : 3rd Jan, 2020

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