In Maharashtra’s Game of Thrones, turncoats flex political muscle in a clear gain for BJP

Mumbai: First Karnataka, then Madhya Pradesh and now Maharashtra. The game of rebellion of MLAs has now started in Maharashtra as well. Shiv Sena MLA and minister in Uddhav government Eknath Shinde has blown the bugle of rebellion. This has put the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in trouble. If what happened in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh happens in Maharashtra, then Uddhav’s government will also fall.

There are total 288 seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly. Now one seat is vacant due to the death of an MLA, so according to this, there are 287 MLAs now. The support of 144 MLAs is necessary to form or maintain the government. At present, the Mahavikas Aghadi government has 153 MLAs. Of these, 55 of Shiv Sena, 53 of NCP and 44 of Congress. However, Eknath Shinde is claiming that he has more than 40 MLAs. If these rebel MLAs switch sides to BJP, then it is almost certain that the BJP government will be formed again in Maharashtra.

BJP remains the first choice of rebel MLAs. Statistics show that 405 MLAs left their party in 5 years. About 45 per cent of these MLAs later joined the BJP. These figures are from the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). In this, the analysis of MLAs who left the party and joined another party was done in 5 years from 2016 to 2020. This ADR report came in March last year.

The ADR report of March 2021 states that between 2016 and 2020, 405 MLAs from assemblies across the country left the party. Of these, 182 i.e. 45% MLAs had joined BJP.

According to the report, 38 ie 9.4% of the MLAs who left the party were associated with the Congress. Whereas, 25 MLAs joined the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and 16 MLAs joined the Trinamool Congress. 16 MLAs joined National People’s Party, 14 in JDU, 11 each in BSP and TDP.

Congress has suffered the biggest blow of the rebellion. 170 Congress MLAs left the party in five years, while BJP had 18 such MLAs. 17-17 MLAs of BSP and TDP had left the party. At the same time, there was not a single MLA of Shiv Sena in 5 years, who has said goodbye to his party.

– The process of MLAs leaving the party usually happens before the election year or election, but many times the MLAs rebel in the middle. This has happened in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. In between, the MLAs resign and then join another party and contest the by-elections on its ticket.

But what is the success rate of MLAs leaving their party and going to another party? That is, how many of them win?
According to  ADR, between 2016 and 2020, there were 357 MLAs who contested the assembly elections by joining another party at the same time. Of these, only 170 i.e. 48% were able to win. Whereas, there were 48 MLAs who contested the by-election on the ticket of another party and won 39 ie 81% in it.

If we look at the figures, then it is understood that the success rate of the MLAs who won the by-election after leaving their party and going to another party is very high. Whereas, the success rate of the rebel MLAs who contested the assembly elections is low.

There was talk of MLAs leaving the party, now let’s talk about MPs too. In 5 years, 12 Lok Sabha MPs and 16 Rajya Sabha MPs left the party. 5 Lok Sabha MPs of BJP had left the party, while 7 Rajya Sabha MPs of Congress had left the party.

Both the BJP and the Congress benefited from the rebellion of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs. 5 Lok Sabha MPs who left the party had joined the Congress. Whereas, 10 Rajya Sabha MPs had joined BJP.

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