Saturday, May 18th, 2024

Explained: Bjp Owes the Lok Sabha Elections to the Defectors! Every Fourth Candidate of the Party Has Come from Another Party

New Delhi: It is not a new thing in Indian politics for turncoat leaders to get election tickets. However, the scale at which turncoats have been included in the BJP candidate list for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections is unusual. In the list of BJP candidates, almost a quarter or 106 out of 435 are such candidates who have changed parties at some time or the other in the last 10 years. Of these, 90 people joined BJP in the last five years.

 

In these states, most of the BJP candidates are defectors.

The highest proportion of such candidates is in Andhra Pradesh, where BJP has fielded six candidates. From 2019 till now, all but one of them have come from some other party. These not only include leaders from Congress and YSRCP, but ironically, leaders from its current ally TDP have also been given tickets. Nearly two-thirds of the BJP’s 17 candidates in neighboring Telangana have come from other parties, the main ones being BRS and Congress. Of the 11 such candidates, six had joined the BJP before these elections.

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are states where BJP’s presence has been limited, even in Haryana. BJP has been in power in Haryana for a decade, six out of 10 of its candidates have switched sides since 2014. Two of them, Naveen Jindal and Ashok Tanwar, had joined the party just before the Lok Sabha elections. Similarly, more than half of the party’s 13 candidates in Punjab are those who were in other parties till some time ago. Some of them were in the Congress but left the Congress along with Amarinder Singh to join the BJP when he merged his new party with the saffron party.

The situation in Jharkhand is similar to that of Punjab, where seven out of 13 MLAs were members of other parties till a decade or less ago. In this case, the imported members are from Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), Congress and the erstwhile Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM), the most high profile of which is Sita Soren. Sita is the sister-in-law of former Chief Minister of the state Hemant Soren.

BJP’s dominance in UP, still dependent on defectors!

The most surprising state in terms of giving tickets to outsiders in BJP is Uttar Pradesh. BJP has been dominant here in the last decade, be it parliamentary elections or state assembly elections. Barring one colleague who is contesting on the BJP’s election symbol, out of all the 74 candidates of the BJP, 23 are those who have joined the BJP at some point since 2014. This is 31% of the BJP candidates in the state.

Similarly, BJP has fielded 29% candidates in Odisha and 26% candidates in Tamil Nadu from leaders who have come from other parties. It is also BJP’s compulsion to give tickets to leaders from other parties in these states because these are not BJP’s strongholds. The surprising thing is that even in Maharashtra, one fourth of the BJP candidates have switched sides and joined the party. This is certainly a symptom of the major changes that have taken place in the state’s politics, especially in the last five years. Fifth note of musical scale. If we look at BJP candidates in Bengal, the situation looks similar to Maharashtra. However, this ratio is lower in all other states. Interestingly, even in Gujarat, which is considered the stronghold of BJP, two candidates have joined the party since 2014.

This analysis does not include allies contesting on BJP ticket. These include five such cases which can be called ‘homecoming’. Those who returned home and got BJP ticket include Jagadish Shettar (Karnataka), Udayanraje Bhosle (Maharashtra) and Sakshi Maharaj (Uttar Pradesh).

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