EDITORIAL | BSY has exposed himself, BJP

BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa’s admission that the voice heard in the audio tape released by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, offering money and positions to the son of Congress MLA Naganagouda Kandkur in exchange for his father’s defection is an indictment of the opposition leader himself and his party. It exposes the shameful standards of politics followed by the party and its leader who is in a hurry to become chief minister again. It also shows that Operation Kamala, which the BJP had launched to engineer defections soon after assembly elections last year, is very much alive and active. Yeddyurappa has always strained to assert that he was not trying to topple the Congress-JD{S) government but the ruling party MLAs were leaving on their own. Everyone knew he was not speaking the truth, and now he has been clearly caught lying. All talk of conspiracy and editing and doctoring of the clip is sham, and it is doubly unfortunate that the Speaker’s office and even the judiciary was dragged into the murky matter. Whatever kind of enquiry is held into the matter, the basic truth is already clearly known. 

Also read: FULL TEXT of the audio | Tell us where cash has to be sent: BSY to MLA's son

At a broader level, Yeddyurappa has exposed not only himself and his party but the political class as such, and showed how a legal and constitutional structure that was created purportedly to give stability to the political system has been found wanting. The anti-defection law perhaps had other reasons when it was created, but the claim was that it would prevent defections or make defectors pay a price for their actions. The politicians have over the years found ways to undermine and sabotage it or to get around it, with the help of the Speaker, through manoeuvres like Operation Kamala or by other means. It has actually served to hike the stakes in a system where no norms and rules are respected and has increased corruption to hitherto unimaginable levels. It is doubtful whether the law as such can prevent a legislator from defecting to another party. It is the alertness and the ability of a party’s managers that can foil the defection plans of its members. That is evidence of the failure of the law. 

The question has often been asked whether the anti-defection law conforms to the spirit of democracy, which respects the individual’s right and agency to take decisions even within the framework of the party system. Issues like the right to differ and dissent and the need for stability, which is often in conflict with that right, are involved. The answers are difficult when the whole system is vitiated with corruption and the motives behind individual conduct are bad and suspect.

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EDITORIAL | BSY has exposed himself, BJP

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