Assembly election results 2022: People’s verdict alone should prevail

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Thursday, March 10, 2022, 08:24 AM IST
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Political parties which win elections form governments. This is one of the cardinal principles of democracy. The results of the exit polls should ordinarily evoke nothing but mirth. However, the exit poll results have led mainstream political parties to plan strategies that do not show them in a good light. For instance, parties like Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are so unsure of themselves that they are even thinking of moving their candidates in states like Goa and Uttarakhand to resorts so that they are not poached by rival parties. In fact, they had even sworn affidavits and forced them to swear in the name of God that they would not ditch the party once they were elected.

In the 2017 election in Goa, Congress had emerged as the single largest party, and ordinarily, it should have formed the government with the support of independents. While it took its own time to elect the leader of its legislature party, the BJP got its act together, engineered a majority through defections, and formed a government that completed its full term. Of course, the governor also helped the party in this process. Congress does not want a repeat of what happened five years ago. Nor does BJP want to lose an opportunity to form the government, even if it does not emerge as the single largest party. When a political party wins a majority of the seats on its own, it does not face any threat from poaching but in a situation of hung assemblies, some of its members are susceptible to influences. That is what happened in Meghalaya where the MLAs elected on the Congress ticket joined the Trinamool Congress en masse. It is not that defection happens only in the case of Congress. Members of other parties are also willing to change sides if they are sure that it will personally benefit them. All this raises the question of loyalty of those who win on the party ticket. The anti-defection law has proved a non-starter, as there are ways in which it can be circumvented. Whatever be the case, a government formed after an election should truly represent the people’s verdict as reflected in the voting. Anything else will be an aberration.

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