Opposition Leaders Facing Probes Switch to Ruling Party, Cases Closed – Examining the Allegations

bjp lotus

Fighting corruption appears to be mere rhetoric for Modi and his government. Since Narendra Modi assumed office as Prime Minister in 2014, he has emphasized in various public meetings his commitment to combating corruption and eradicating it from the country. The entire demonetisation exercise was purportedly aimed at bringing back black money and tackling corruption. However, the reality on the ground seems to tell a different story.

They appear to be selective when handling corruption cases against various politicians. During their tenure, numerous prominent politicians facing corruption probes have joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). A recent report by the Indian Express sheds light on this trend, revealing that at least 25 such politicians, primarily from opposition parties, have switched to the BJP. Significantly, investigations against 23 of these leaders have subsequently been halted or closed by investigative agencies.

Let’s delve deeper into how Modi’s slogan of fighting corruption seems to target opposition leaders while giving those aligned with the NDA a pass.

The Report 

The Indian Express report from April 3, 2024, indicates that among the 25 politicians who transitioned to the BJP, 10 were from the Congress, four each from NCP and Shiv Sena, three from Trinamool Congress, two from TDP, and one each from Samajwadi Party and YSRCP. The investigations into three cases involving these politicians have been entirely closed, while 20 others remain stalled or inactive, as per the Indian Express findings.

The report also highlights that six of these politicians made their move to the BJP in 2024, just ahead of the Lok Sabha Elections. Just when this article was written two prominent figures from the Congress joined the BJP. Gourav Vallabh resigned from the Congress party and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Following him, former Congress leader Vijender Singh also joined the BJP on Wednesday. Singh, India’s first Olympic medallist in boxing, contested the previous Lok Sabha elections from the South Delhi constituency as a Congress candidate. Vallabh cited the “directionless way” of the Congress party as the reason for his departure. Meanwhile, Singh stated that he awakened from a deep slumber to join the BJP.

Allegations and Opposition Response

The Indian Express report comes amid allegations from the opposition of central investigative agencies being misused by the Narendra Modi-led government for political gains. Opposition parties have likened the BJP to a “washing machine,” insinuating that politicians accused of corruption find reprieve after affiliating with the ruling party. However, the government has firmly denied these accusations.

The imprisonment of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren in corruption cases being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has intensified these claims.

Political Developments and Reactions

The report coincides with the ‘Loktantra Bachao’ Maharally organized by key opposition leaders under the INDIA bloc at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, rallying against the alleged misuse of central agencies by the Modi government. The Election Commission is reportedly considering issuing an advisory on these concerns ahead of the elections.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud has also weighed in on the matter, expressing concerns about the diversion of premier investigative agencies from critical national security issues to economic offences.

Notable Cases

The Indian Express report underscores specific cases involving prominent politicians like Ajit Pawar and Praful Patel of the NCP, whose investigations were closed after their association with the BJP. Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar’s case, which was initially closed during the previous government, was reopened when the BJP returned to power. However, it was ultimately closed in March 2024 after Pawar joined the NDA, rendering the ED’s case infructuous.

Similar instances are highlighted, including the cases of West Bengal’s Leader of Opposition Suvendu Adhikari and Assam Chief Minister Hemanta Biswa Sarma, who both switched to the BJP with little to no progress in their probes.

The final thoughts 

The evolving landscape of political affiliations amidst ongoing corruption probes raises pertinent questions about the independence and integrity of investigative processes in India. The reported trend of politicians finding refuge from investigations after aligning with the ruling party fuels allegations of misuse of power. As debates continue, clarity and accountability in the realm of political and legal integrity remain imperative for upholding democratic values and public trust.

With the elections around the corner, it is the people of India who will consider this significant question: whether they want to continue with tainted ministers leading the show or want to restore democracy by bringing back honest and corruption-free leaders committed to securing the secular fabric of the country. Only time will tell the story; until then, we all must wait and watch.

Mohd Ziyauallah Khan is a freelance content writer based in Nagpur. He is also an activist and social entrepreneur, co-founder of the group TruthScape, a team of digital activists fighting disinformation on social media.

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