Justice Markandey Katju: Indian politics is setting new records

Justice Markandey Katju

By Justice Markandey Katju–

(Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own)

“Jeevan ka safar hai toolaani
Yaan ikraani hai naadaani
Jo Shahsawaar maahir hain
Woh raah badalte rehte hain”
(Life’s journey is long
Staying at the same place is foolishness
The expert horseriders
Keep changing their routes )

On June 27 this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused Sharad Pawar’s NCP of being involved in various scams of ₹70,000 crores, including the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam, Irrigation scam, illegal mining scam, etc.

Yet, just 5 days later, on July 2, a section of the NCP, led by Sharad Pawar’s nephew Ajit Pawar, joined the BJP, which is in power in Maharashtra. These defectors were promptly rewarded; Ajit Pawar being made a Deputy CM, and others being made Ministers.

It is interesting to note that corruption charges had been levied against many of these defectors by the Enforcement Directorate of India, but these tainted defectors have now become ministers. Their cases will now obviously be put into the cold storage.

Defection is not new in Indian politics. In 1967, Chaudhury Charan Singh defected three times in three days. In 1980, Bhajan Lal defected to Congress with almost all his MLAs. The list of ‘Aya Rams Gaya Rams’ in India is very long.

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

But this latest defection takes the cake. In five days the defectors have been transformed from corruption-tainted figures (as described by the Prime Minister) to snow white clean saints. Indian politics reminds me of the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Alice in Wonderland!

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