After LS and RS, BJP now comes calling for states

Back-to-back desertions from the Opposition rank and file in Rajya Sabha indicate that the BJP will get a majority soon in the Upper House, lack of which prevented it from passing many contentious bills. File photo

As if the debacle in 2019 Lok Sabha polls and the subsequent depletion of strength in Rajya Sabha was not enough, the Opposition parties now stare at lock, stock and barrel movement of their legislatures from states to the BJP.

10 out of 13 MLAs of the Sikkim Democratic Front joined the saffron party on Tuesday, making it the main opposition in a state where it had not won a single seat in recent assembly polls. This was a virtual replay of 2017 in another north-eastern state Tripura, when six Trinamool Congress MLAs in the state had joined the BJP. They were earlier members of the Congress party, the main Opposition party in the state for long.

Gradually, the BJP became the main Opposition party in Tripura and in a coup of sorts, trounced the Left Front led by Manik Sarkar, which was ruling the state for 25 years. BJP hailed this as its “ideological victory”.  Congress, which had 10 MLAs in 2013, secured zero seats in 2018 assembly polls in Tripura.

Last month, 10 of 15 Congress MLAs from Goa including Leader of Opposition in the assembly Chandrakant Kavlekar joined the BJP. The Congress party that had emerged as the single largest party in the state in the 2017 assembly polls got reduced to a weak opposition in Goa.

While this is the first time that MLAs of a regional party in Sikkim has joined a national party "en bloc", in Arunachal Pradesh way back in 2016, 43 of 44 Congress MLAs, including Chief Minister Pema Khandu, had deserted the parent party and joined the People’s Party of Arunachal (PPA), which was part of BJP-led front North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).

BJP has already formed a government in the gateway to North-East Assam, defeating Congress.

In Maharasthra, where assembly election is due in October, over half a dozen MLAs from Congress and NCP including Congress leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil have already joined the BJP.

In West Bengal, where Trinamool Congress is the ruling party, MLAs are regularly defecting to BJP ahead of 2021 assembly polls in the state. It is already running government either on its own or in alliance with regional parties in all other northeastern states except Sikkim. With this development, it has reached one major shot closer to power even here.

Back-to-back desertions from the Opposition rank and file in Rajya Sabha indicate that the BJP will get a majority soon in the Upper House, lack of which prevented it from passing many contentious bills.

Comments (+)