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Switching Sides: 25 Opposition Leaders Join BJP, 23 See Corruption Probes Stalled

Since 2014, politicians under investigation in India have found reprieve after aligning with the BJP, highlighting concerns over the integrity of legal proceedings.

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Dil Bar Irshad
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Switching Sides: 25 Opposition Leaders Join BJP, 23 See Corruption Probes Stalled

Switching Sides: 25 Opposition Leaders Join BJP, 23 See Corruption Probes Stalled

Since 2014, a notable trend has emerged in Indian politics where politicians under corruption investigations have shifted allegiances to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), resulting in a significant change in the trajectory of their cases. The Indian Express's deep dive into this phenomenon reveals that out of 25 such politicians, 23 have seen a reprieve in their investigations post-switch. This pattern not only underscores the political dynamics in India but also raises questions about the integrity of legal proceedings against political figures.

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Political Allegiance and Judicial Reprieve

An examination of the cases reveals a stark contrast in the fate of corruption probes pre and post-political switch. For instance, in Maharashtra, the switch of Ajit Pawar and other leaders to the BJP coincided with the closure or stalling of their investigations. The case of Pawar, in particular, highlights how the Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have flip-flopped in their approach, with the case being closed, reopened, and closed again following his political journey. This pattern is not isolated, with similar narratives unfolding for other politicians across India.

Agency Responses and Public Perception

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The actions of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), ED, and Income Tax Department in these instances have brought them under scrutiny. While officials from these agencies assert that their investigations are based on evidence and continue as required, the chronological sequence of events as politicians switch sides casts doubt on these assertions. Public perception is increasingly wary of what many see as a 'washing machine' effect, where political allegiance seems to cleanse politicians of legal troubles.

Implications for Democracy and Rule of Law

The implications of these findings are profound, touching the very core of democracy and the rule of law in India. The apparent ease with which political figures can evade accountability by aligning with the ruling party challenges the independence of judicial processes. Furthermore, it sets a concerning precedent for political accountability, where allegiance rather than evidence may determine the outcome of legal proceedings.

As the political landscape of India continues to evolve, the intersection of politics and legal accountability remains a contentious issue. The trend highlighted by The Indian Express's investigation prompts a deeper reflection on the mechanisms of power and justice, urging a call for transparency and integrity in the handling of corruption cases, irrespective of political affiliations.

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