DC Edit | It’s party-hopping season

As polls draw near, it’s party hopping season. While also a season for some sportsmen, as in popular leagues like IPL, to change their teams, where the remuneration would have been fixed with variable pay and perks, here, however, the move is riskier. You could end up being a Member of Parliament and even a minister if lucky. Or you could end up a loser, left by the wayside, ignored by new friends and old alike.

It takes exceptional political acumen to gauge the public mood and decide when to switch sides. Babu Jagjivan Ram, for instance, was a master of this art — as senior Congress leader and minister in Indira Gandhi’s cabinet, he jumped ship along with H.N. Bahuguna barely months before the 1977 Lok Sabha polls called by his own party and coasted to a massive win in the anti-Emergency Janata wave.

Decades later, the DMK, which was till then a part of the NDA, quit it and joined the UPA in 2004, and was back in power at the Centre again for 10 years. The RJD of Lalu Prasad Yadav, however, miscalculated. It quit the UPA in 2009 before the results went in favour of the Congress.

The 2024 season has started with the JD(U) of Nitish Kumar flip-flopping, along with a change of guard in that state. The momentum is clearly in favour of the NDA, and its latest catch is the Congress leader and former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan. It is not quite clear yet if another former chief minister will set sails for the saffron coast, dumping the Congress.

The coming days will raise the curtains on the plans of many. But it is the people who will take the final call.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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