What is the most prominent impression of Indian politics? How will the future of Indian politics look like? Well, the answers to both the questions are the same that is Resort Politics. The politics of India somewhat resembles to the image where politicians are being packed in a bus and are being shifted to hotels and resorts. The upcoming Rajya Sabha elections due on June 10 are depicting a similar picture.
Parties resort to “Resort Politics” for the upcoming RS polls
In the wake of upcoming Rajya Sabha elections, the desperation and insecurity of the Congress party lies exposed. The party has shifted its legislators of Rajasthan and Haryana legislations to resorts in Udaipur and Raipur respectively.
According to media reports, nearly 70 Congress MLAs from Rajasthan have been shifted to a resort in Udaipur, which is almost 400 kms from the state capital. In Haryana, the situation is even more desperate. The Congress party is Haryana not only lacks numbers but also contains factions. Even then the party has ferried the few MLAs it could gather to Raipur in Chattisgarh, that is some 1,470 kms away from Chandigarh.
Resort Politics has come into play in the MVA state as well. After failed talks with BJP, the Shiv Sena has decided to call its MLAs to Mumbai and lodge them in a hotel to avoid any chances of defections and cross-voting.
Indian politics has a rich history of ‘Resort Politics’
Such events can be traced back to the evolution of politics in India. The number is such that tracing the recent events from 90s can fill a book. The Karnataka Government if 1983 headed by Janata Party CM Ramakrishna Hegde had sent their 80 MLAs to resort during the assembly trust vote to save his government from being dissolved by Indira Gandhi.
In 1995, the first BJP CM of Gujrat, Keshubhai Patel lost his position to Suresh Mehta as a result of the Khajurao scandal. Later, Mehta was displaced by Vaghela in 1996, when the latter floated his own party and formed the government with Congress’ support.
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The BJP government of Uttar Pradesh in 1998 and Bihar government in 2000, BJP leaders and Congress along with RJD legislators respectively were transferred to hotels fearing defections.
The most famous case comes from Maharashtra, as after Shiv Sena broke away from the NDA alliance and joined hands with Congress-NCP to form the government in the state, all the parties were keeping a watch on their legislators.
‘Resort Politics’- A move to dismiss threat
The first question for any layman would be that, what is resort politics? Resort Politics is a reference to the many instances of Indian politics that have happened in the past where MLAs are transferred to luxury hotels. The motive behind this is often documented as a method to prevent a sudden transfer of power.
Politics is not a game of loyalty, and this establishes the necessity of “resort politics”. As there have been many instances of governments falling due to ‘resort politics’. As shifting legislators staying in a hotel advances for low chances of defections or cross voting.
Resort Politics- The X-factor in the upcoming Rajya Sabha polls
As of now, 41 candidates have won the Rajya Sabha seat unopposed. The list includes candidates like veteran Congress leader P. Chidambaram, former Congress leader Kapil Sibal, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)’s Jayant Chaudhary and Lalu Yadav’s daughter Misa Bharti among others.
There is a neck-to neck fight for the rest of the seats. Especially in Maharashtra that has grabbed all the eye balls, where the fight is for six seats. The Bhartiya Janata Party has fielded three candidates, cabinet minister Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik. The NCP has renominated Praful Patel, whereas the Shiv Sena has fielded Sanjay Raut and Sanjay Pawar. Congress has nominated Imran Pratapgarhi.
The BJP is all set to win two seats, whereas the MVA may be successful in bagging three seats. The contest is expected on the sixth seat between Sena’ Sanjay Pawar and Dhananjay Mahadik. A NCP delegation also tried to persuade Fadnavis to withdraw Mahadik from the race in exchange for an additional seat in the upcoming state Legislative council. The BJP shunned them by making a counter offer.
The situation seems very desperate for the opposition. Not only the MVA allies, the Congress too is in a crucial state. In Haryana, Kartikeya Sharma, the son of former Union minister Venod Sharma has field his nominations as an independent candidate with the back support of the BJP.
In order to reserve the votes of their legislators, the Congress party has adopted his legacy and jumped on to resort politics. For Congress, only resort politics can save them from defections and cross-voting. Congress wants to sustain its number in the Upper house, whereas the BJP is leaving no stone turned to gain majority. The recent win of the Bhartiya Janata Party in the recently concluded 4 out of 5 assembly elections has also secured its number in the Upper House. Hence, there are no hopes left for the Congress and hence it is resorting to the trait it has been called the brand ambassador of that is ‘RESORT POLITICS’.