Political crises in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand have shaken the democratic conscience of many. Can political defections of individual members bring down an elected government without invoking the anti-defection law? Does the central government have the right to interfere in such matters of the state? And most importantly, have the principles of federalism been manipulated and threatened? The situations in Arunachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand find their footings with rebel leaders defecting at the behest of the party in power at the center, resurrecting the Aaya Ram, Gaya Ram syndrome.
This phrase draws inspiration from the political legacy of a Haryana legislator, Gaya Lal, who defected thrice in a single fortnight. Anti-defection law was passed in 1985. This has evolved over time to disqualify from the legislative house any member who defies the party whip or defects from the party on whose ticket he got elected. The anti-defection law applies only if less than two-third of the elected members of a party of a legislative house defect to another political party.