Violating anti-defection law
Late but welcome
Violating the spirit and content of the anti-defection law. This is what Th Shyamkumar did the moment he decided to jump fence and sup with the BJP led Government after the State Assembly elections of 2017. Elected on a Congress (I) ticket from Andro Assembly Constituency, Shyamkumar ironically defeated the BJP candidate Dr Nimaichand Luwang by a handsome margin of over seven thousand votes and in a place like Manipur where the population is not huge, this is a big margin. In switching side to the BJP, Th Shyamkumar not only violated the 10th Schedule of the Constitution of the country but also betrayed the trust and confidence of the over 18 thousand voters who voted for him in the hustings. Not surprisingly Shyamkumar was rewarded with plum portfolios for switching sides and puncturing whatever claim the Congress may have to form the Government. Remember the Congress emerged the single largest party after the 2017 elections with 28 MLAs but it was the BJP which went on to form the Government with just 21 MLAs. Not surprisingly the example of ThShyamkumar ‘inspired’ many more Congress MLAs who decided that the grass was greener on the other side and thus the Congress which had 28 MLAs after the elections does not exactly enjoy this numerical strength in the House of 60 MLAs today.
ThShyamkumar has been disqualified and while the rule of law has prevailed, it is tough to say that the spirit of the anti-defection law has been respected. Shyamkumar abandoned the sinking ship in 2017 and the whip has been cracked only now, leaving many to wonder why it should take so long to work out the finer inticracies of the anti-defection law. Significant to remember too that the whip was cracked only after the Supreme Court of India stepped in and asked the Speaker’s Tribunal to decide within a given time frame. This is where some significant questions may well be raised on the fate of the other MLAs who have now thrown their weight behind the BJP led Government but continue to sit on the Opposition bench in the Assembly. Significantly some of these MLAs also have cases pending against them in the Court. Politics without dharma, this is what the party hoppers have done and while Shyamkumar may continue to win elections, it is the utter disrespect shown to the anti-defection law that is difficult to digest. Late it is but the whip has been cracked and let this set the example that while rules and regulations may be flouted, it cannot stand the test of time and truth. Making a mockery of the law of the land, this is what some of the unscrupulous politicians have done and this is what is extremely worrying.