Defectors can spell doom for NDA, warns Shiv Sena

Mumbai: Frowning at the spate of election-eve defections into the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena coalition in the state from the opposition Congress-NCP combine, the Shiv Sena has warned this could ultimately spell doom for the ruling coalition both at the Centre and in the state.

Rajya Sabha MP and ‘Saamana’ and ‘Dopahar Ka Saamana’ Executive Editor Sanjay Raut has said in his weekly column, that many political “turncoats”, some with doubtful credentials, are making a beeline for the paradise called the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

“This is welcome, both BJP-Sena are benefitted...a few years, ago both parties were considered ‘untouchables’. But what is the guarantee that these ‘turncoats’ — some who have changed parties several times — will remain loyal in future,” Raut asked.

According to Raut, most defectors have been providing laughable excuses and continue to sing paeans of the leaders of the very same party which they had quit to join BJP or Shiv Sena, and hence, have nothing to do with “ideology”.

Against the backdrop of these defections from the Opposition to the ruling parties, Raut wondered whether a serious Opposition exists in the country now.

“If some people have decided that there is no need for the Opposition either in Parliament or in the Maharashtra legislature, this could be dangerous for the country and democracy,” Raut cautioned.

In this context, he lauded the role of India’s first PM Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for building a strong democratic foundation and strengthening the opposition, and Prime Minster Atal Behari Vajpayee traversed the same path later.

“There may be differences with Congress, but parliamentary and legislative traditions were established and nurtured by the Congress, some of which are not seen in any country in the world... The Opposition gained importance and respect only because of Nehru,” Raut noted.