This is time for defections in politics. With the Lok Sabha polls seeing the BJP emerging as an unassailable force, the mood in the Opposition is downbeat. A leadership crisis in the Congress has further complicated matters. Selfish politicians on the losing side naturally look out for greener pastures. The BJP is giving out hints it would welcome one and all into the saffron shade – if only to finish off the Opposition.

A game of defections from the Congress to the BJP was enacted in an unholy manner in Goa this past week. In Punjab, the resignation of Navjot Singh Sidhu from the Captain Amrinder Singh cabinet has dealt a heavy blow to the Congress ministry and the party. Political uncertainty is in the air. The only consolation is that the Opposition is too weak in terms of numbers in the assembly. The Congress has 77 members while the BJP has just three seats and its partner the SAD 15 seats, topped by the AAP as principal opposition with 20 seats. Chances of a split in the Congress cannot be ruled out.

The JDS-Congress government in Karnataka is tottering and bearing the weight of its own contradictions. The 13-month-old HD Kumaraswamy government, formed by an unholy post-poll alliance between two parties had an uneasy existence all along. Now, with the Congress party becoming rudderless and losing its old clout, several legislators are willing to help the BJP pull down the government and make personal gains. Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, who made too many compromises to remain in the saddle, is at his wits’ end now. Head of a small party, he bargained for trouble. A countdown has begun in another opposition-ruled state, West Bengal, where BJP claims over 100 MLAs have approached it for entry – mostly from the TMC and also from the Congress and the CPI-M. Mamata Banerjee, who formed TMC 20 years ago and captured power in the state in 2011, is now on the defensive. With BJP making big waves in the LS polls in the state, the mood in the TMC might be downbeat.

Unprincipled politics is at play across the spectrum. The BJP’s roller-coaster ride is bound to see the fall of Opposition-run governments one after another. A strong opposition is a must for effective functioning of democracy. Under the present circumstances, this is unlikely to materialize. So many uncouth politicians are spoiling the show of democracy in India today and are engaged in a circus without a ring.

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