03 December, 2020

Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram: How BJP Blunts Political Careers Of Heavyweight Turncoats

Barring notable exceptions like ex-Trinamool leader Mukul Roy or former Congressman Himanta Biswa Sarma, several top politicians like SM Krishna and Daggubati Purandeswari have been shunted by Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo

S.M. Krishna, once a powerful Congress minister, is now a BJP margdarshak
Photograph by PTI & Getty Images
Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram: How BJP Blunts Political Careers Of Heavyweight Turncoats

Congress old-timers often described their organisation—some still do—as a bheed or crowd of people sharing no common ideology or personal fondness. Patronage and a share of the power pie that the party could once guarantee glued the swarm together. For a little over five years, the crowd has been dispersing; taking refuge with new benefactors. The reason is obvious. PM Narendra Modi and Amit Shah’s aggressive BJP has reduced its main rival to a caricature of its former self, federally. Congress bastions in most states have crumbled.

Of course, party-hopping, or the more colloquial but laconic catchphrase Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram, isn’t a new addition to the well-entrenched tradition of political opportunism. But, there’s a curious twist at play here, particularly with leaders who have jumped onto the BJP bandwagon, the favourite sanctuary for most hoppers irrespective of their political stature.

Barring notable exceptions like Himanta Biswa Sarma, Mukul Roy and Baijayant ‘Jay’ Panda, who quit the Congress, Trinamool Congress and...



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