As minute-by-minute details of the crisis play out in the media, TOI asked its readers about their take on the crisis and how it’s not just about the fall of a government but also about upholding the mandate of the people.
Interestingly, videos were split about how they felt about MLAs being corralled to different states to escape party bosses.
Over 27% of the said they felt sad at the state of democracy when they watch videos of the political crisis on TV or social media, while roughly an equal number of readers expressed happiness that there’s enough freedom of choice in the country.
Around 24% said they felt anger at the politicians and 19% felt frustrated as a voter.
A majority of the MLAs also felt that the Maharashtra MLAs (mostly those from Shiv Sena) who first went to Surat and then to Guwahati did so of their own volition.
Only 38% said that the MLAs may have been taken to opposition-ruled states forcibly in order topple the ruling MVA government.
Asked if what’s happening in Maharashtra is dirty politics or a political masterstroke, 59% of the felt it was the latter. On the other hand, around 41% said that the events in the western state are a part of “dirty politics/horse-trading of MLAs.”
More than half the anti-defection law, which prevents elected MLAs from switching sides, still matters. Over 46% felt that the law has lost its relevance since defects get rewarded in other ways (read horse-trading).
Respondents were quite clear about upholding the mandate of voters.
Over 72% of those who participated in the poll said that voters have the right to recall a representative in case he or she defects to another party since elections are fought between parties, and on party symbols.
Only about 28% said that it is alright for politicians to jump ship in case there is a lack of inner-party democracy.
Notably, while most not felt that the Maharashtra crisis is driven by horse-trading, a majority of them said that money power does play a big role in political crises.
Around 65% of the power ship said that ruling party MLAs jump ship primarily due to money. Conversely, less than 35% felt that it is politics that determines such moves.