Why BJP is rewarding deserters from rival parties – Times of India

There’s a bigger political signal which the BJP wants to beam in infrared light, visible only to those who can see it, in the elevation of Himanta Biswa Sarma as Assam’s chief minister; Suvendu Adhikari as the Opposition leader in West Bengal’s legislature; and AN Namassivayam as the prospective deputy CM in Puducherry. It’s this – The BJP is pragmatic, level-headed, open-minded and ready to share the spoils of power with defectors from other parties. Sarma and Namassivayam are former Congressmen, while Adhikari’s last-minute flight from the Trinamool Congress to the BJP is the staple of political legend and lore.

Why is the message significant? Juxtapose the BJP-beckons beep from Narendra Modi-Amit Shah with the party’s recent past, which has been marked by the departure of heavyweight constituents from the NDA, such as the Shiv Sena and the Shiromani Akali Dal and smaller but weighty entities like Uttar Pradesh’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party and Rajasthan’s Rashtriya Loktantrik Party and you get the drift. The BJP’s relationship with Dushyant Chautala’s Jannayak Janata Party, which holds the Haryana coalition government together, is uneasy. Chautala is under immense pressure to recant the partnership after the farmers’ protests. Watch Jyotiraditya Scindia cooling his heels for over a year after his arrival in the BJP, a cataclysmic event for the Congress that resulted in the downfall of its Madhya Pradesh government and the return of the BJP with the help of Scindia loyalists. It’s hard to slot him as a lateral entrant. Jyotiraditya and his late father, Madhavrao Scindia, were the outliers in the Congress from the Gwalior ‘gharana’. The other members were the ‘originals’, entrenched in the BJP from the Jana Sangh era.

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