Rajasthan Political Crisis: Green signal to Horse-Trading?

Updated: Jul 18, 2020


In 2018 Rajasthan’s assembly polls, a 105-year-old came to Jaipur polling station to cast her vote. Her family carried her to the polling station just so that she could vote. She knows that the Right to Vote is one of our fundamental rights. However, She does not know that her vote hardly matters as horse-trading decides who governs the state.

Indians got the world's largest democratic country after a long struggle for Independence.

Abraham Lincoln defined Democracy as -

“ Government of the people, by the people, for the people”.

But when you consider the case of the largest Democracy in the world, the definition no longer stands valid. In India, People do not decide who governs the states, rather horse-trading does. Indian politics is no more about ideologies but deals.

Rajasthan’s Political Crisis

It all started when the Special Operation groups sent two notices to the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister to record their statements on a complaint by the Congress. The complaint was based on an attempt to topple the Congress Government by bribing the MLAs.

The game of chair
The game of chair

The notice apparently rattled the Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot as it came on the commands of CM Ashok Gehlot. This leads the government into a political crisis. While Pilot flew to Delhi, he claimed that he has the support of 30 MLAs. According to news reports, Sachin wants to stay out of the government due to the humiliations faced. He has isolated himself and hasn’t made any statement yet. Although many believe that if his demands aren’t met, he might cross the fence and join BJP.

On the other hand, Ashok Gehlot has assured that all the MLAs are on his side and have already signed the resolution. The Congress Party Sources have claimed support of 116 MLAs while the BJP has 72 MLAs. The party also said that Mr.Pilot would still be welcomed back. Later on, MLAs were shifted to Hotel Fairmont in Jaipur after the Congress Legislature Party passed a resolution supporting Gehlot.

The rift between the CM and the deputy CM had been going on for a very long time. However, the SOG notice made things worse. To prevent any further damage, Priyanka Gandhi stepped in and engaged in talks with both the leaders.

Horse Trading - आया राम गया राम

Sachin pilot disrupting the CM post

It is only a matter of time we get to know who has a better impact on the MLAs. But it leaves us with a serious question - Does the public mandate matter? Some politicians constantly change parties according to the political climate. Indian politicians have relied more on money, muscle power, and connections rather than the votes. Horse trading is not new in politics. The Indian National Congress also has a history of horse-trading. It impacted the politics in Goa (1980), Haryana (1982), Andhra Pradesh(1984), and Uttar Pradesh in 1998.

We have been told that each vote matters. We stand in long queues just so that we have a representative who can help us in solving our problems and a government that helps India become a superpower. But,

Does voting give us a legitimate government?
Not always.

It is a question that we need to ask ourselves. Today, politics is no longer based on ideologies. When you see a bus full of MLAs (as if they are some commodities for sale) being moved to VIP Resorts, it often questions your importance as a citizen. Indian Politics is now about the selfish nature of politicians and the extent of corruption that can be done to fulfill their quest. It does not matter who sits at the top of the Government, the general public is bound to be used by corrupt leaders for the sake of votes.

However, recent horse-trading practices have led us to question ourselves -

Is India a democratic country anymore?

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