India has always been a land of diversity and complex problems. With the ever-changing scenarios in politics, the role of ministers becomes even more crucial. The trust of the people is what makes a person eligible for holding a position of power in the government. This trust is built on various grounds, including the politician’s ideologies and dedication to their original party. However, India has seen a new generation of politicians who tend to switch their party affiliations based on their convenience. They are called defectors or turncoats, and recently, the former Union Minister, Kapil Sibal, suggested that they should be banned from becoming ministers.
Defection is the act of leaving one political party and joining another. This phenomenon is not new to Indian politics. However, over the years, it has become a tool for achieving personal gains, rather than standing up for one’s political beliefs. In recent times, there have been several instances when politicians have jumped ship just to grab a cabinet post or to avoid prosecution in pending criminal cases. This practice not only harms the democracy but also questions the credibility of the entire system.
Kapil Sibal, the former Union Minister and seasoned politician, recently voiced his opinion on defectors in politics. He stated that defectors should not be allowed entry into the cabinet. According to him, this would help maintain the sanctity of the democratic process and prevent the misuse of power. Mr. Sibal’s comments are not coming out of the blue. They arrived in the backdrop of a few high-profile defections that happened in several states in India.
The problem with defectors is that they do not have any loyalty towards their party or electorate. Political parties mobilize their support base based on their ideologies and promises made by their leaders. When a politician jumps ship, it leaves the electorate feeling betrayed, and the party loses its credibility. This may result in a loss of trust from the voters, which can be detrimental to the prospects of the political party in the future.
Moreover, the ministers appointed from defectors can be susceptible to pressure from their previous parties. In case of any discrepancy, they may push the defectors to vote against the government in the parliament or the assembly. This could result in a political mayhem and instability, which can have long-lasting effects on the country’s development.
A less talked about point is that the defectors, angled as a savior, lead to the deskilling of the elected body. While the defectors may have an impressive resume, their entry into the cabinet would also mean sidelining the experienced and dedicated politicians of the current party. The defectors when appointed takes time to settle in, but as quite evident, these ministers have no such luxury, given the questionable loyalty and short durability. The appointment of party leaders or potential candidates who have dedicated their time and resources towards the party is much more beneficial from a long-term perspective.
While a defector might look like a solution to the current chaos, it certainly is not the right one. Instead, the parties must look to groom the cadres, motivate, and strengthen the lawmakers, who will always have a higher stake in the party’s future.
Another aspect to consider is the fixed cost to the exchequer. Running a government is an expensive affair, and the country cannot afford to keep shelling out state resources and perks and privileges to unscrupulous party-hopping politicians. The cost to the nation in case of such an emergency is not just monetary, but also social – low morale citizens, uninspired community leaders, and a loss of power in the hands of people’s representatives.
To conclude, the idea of banning defection is not just a unique one that Kapil Sibal proposed. It is perhaps the need of the hour in our country, which will bring back the credibility of political parties and rehabilitate the nation’s trust in the democracy. Though it may not bring an immediate change, the appointment of talented and dedicated politicos, ensuring accountability and keeping up with the principles of public welfare will go a long way in promoting a democracy that works best for the Indian people. Hence, keeping defectors out of cabinet responsibilities is one of the many efforts we can take to achieve such a transition.