What happens to the promises made before God that come what may, we will stay loyal to our party? Where are the promises made on affidavits that we will never switch parties? These are the questions Goans will have to ask their politicians in the light of the expected news – 8 Congress MLAs switch sides to the BJP.
Social media platforms trolled the defectors soon after news flashed that they had switched sides, but does it make any difference to these turncoats?
Margao MLA Digambar Kamat is back in the BJP fold after betraying the saffron party 17 years back and bringing down the Manohar Parrikar government in 2005. I am sure the late Parrikar must be pacing in heaven.
When Kamat left the BJP to enter the Congress, he was rewarded suitably by the latter, and now back again in the saffron camp, a big, fat ministership is guaranteed to him.
Kamat did admit that he had sworn before God never to leave the Congress, but now he seems to have consulted the same God and told him that circumstances have changed.
Now, the question that comes to mind is: Are promises made to the public and God before elections binding on politicians? The promises may not be legally binding, but, definitely, the question of morality and conscience arises.
So, why do our MLAs defect? The most common excuse or answer here in Goa is "for development's sake". This is one of the lamest excuses one can hear and speaks to the lack of intelligence of Goan politicians.
This means that in Goa politicians need only power to bring about development. Politicians today have forgotten that in a democracy, people's welfare and well-being come first and not their interest of staying relevant.
BJP's national leader and a powerful minister Nitin Gadkari, speaking at an event in Nagpur, recently, stated that politics had become more about staying in power, rather than being a vehicle for social change and development. This is the hard truth.
Soon after elections are done and dusted, election manifestos and promises made to the constituents are forgotten. Politicians have forgotten that democracy is a social contract between legislators and their constituents.
When politicians switch sides, they not only betray the trust of the people who voted for them, but betray this social contract. However, defectors in Goa are well aware they will go scot-free because no one scrutinises this contract.
On July 10, 2019, ten Congress MLAs in Goa, led by leader of opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar merged with the ruling BJP – increasing the saffron party’s strength to 27 in the 40-member house.
Today, September 14, 2022, Goans have been betrayed again. The eight defectors, led by senior leaders like Digambar Kamat and Aleixo Sequeira, betrayed their voters' trust. It now appears that betrayal is at the heart of Goan politics.