Political turncoats can be dangerous to democracy if parties encourage them, political leaders and experts warned on Sunday.
“Political leaders changing parties during election time is not only unfortunate but dangerous to democracy because of their greed to get tickets at the cost of political values and ethics,” Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Sailesh Sinha said in a release.
He wondered how politicians desert a party which had given them entry in Parliament and made them ministers in the past. “One should keep in mind a party can give one ticket to one person only,” Sinha added.
Sinha’s comments come in the wake of former Congress MLA Chandrasekhar Dubey and ex-MLA Niel Tirkey quitting the Congress and joining the Trinamool Congress and Ajsu party, respectively.
Tirkey was promptly given a ticket to contest from Khunti Lok Sabha seat on Ajsu ticket.
JMM MLA Hemlal Murmu joined the BJP while ex-BJP MLAs Loknath Mahto, Devdayal Kushwaha and former Union minister Nagmani joined the Ajsu party.
While Murmu got the ticket to contest in Raj Mahal Lok Sabha seat, Loknath Mahto got Ajsu ticket to fight the Hazaribagh seat.
Nagmani, whose joining the Ajsu yesterday became the seventh party after being with the Congress, JDU, BJP, RJD, LJP and NCP, is tipped for Ajsu’s candidate from the Chatra Lok Sabha seat.
Educationists said criss-crossing of leaders across the political spectrum “just to get tickets” did not augur well for democracy.
“This is a dangerous trend in a parliamentary democracy. For it nearly violates the Anti-defection Act,” said former Pro-Vice Chancellor of Ranchi University (RU) V P Sharan.
“The act now covers only defecting legislators, but the time has come to amend it, making it mandatory for any defecting leader to serve a political party for a minimum of five years before being eligible for its ticket,” Sharan said.
Echoing Sharan’s contention, former RU Vice Chancellor A Khan said such leaders joining other parties should not be given tickets till they serve that party for ten years.
“Politically their deserting a party and joining another, shows nobody is interested in the society’s development or the nation. They just want to serve for themselves. Such people are not useful for the society as they do not practise the ideology of any political party,” Khan said.