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Cricalps Cricket Carnival - 2022 Group

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George Gulyaev
George Gulyaev

Defection Torrent

What was started by Gaya Lal in 1967 became almost a torrent. Writing in the Economic and Political Weekly in 2003, B. Venkatesh Kumar estimated that almost 50% of the 4,000 legislators elected between 1967 and 1971 subsequently defected.

Defection torrent

Attempts to deal with the phenomenon of defections started in 1967 itself with the Lok Sabha setting up a committee headed by Y.B. Chavan which gave its report in 1968, recommending the passing of an anti-defection law. But it was finally in 1985 that the law was passed and came into effect on March 18.

The anti-defection law worked reasonably well but over time political parties and elected politicians discovered loopholes and started exploiting them. As a result, the law was amended via the 91st amendment to the constitution in 2003. This amendment removed the provision of splits in legislative parties.

But before I go on to attempt an answer to that question, it is imperative to highlight another critical aspect of Indian politics that is inextricably linked to defections. And this has to do with money.

Even if the obscenely large sums of money that are bandied about are discounted, the videos of legislators enjoying the facilities of luxury resorts and private jets are indicative of the vast amounts of money apparently being involved in the defection activity. Notwithstanding whether the monies spent are accounted for or not, black or white, the fact that over Rs 10,000 crore has been pumped into the political system via totally opaque electoral bonds cannot be ignored.

It is extremely important to underline that the problem of defection is not of the legislators alone. Political parties are essential and major actors in this drama of defection that now plays out repeatedly and brazenly in the political theatre of this country. Therefore, three interdependent actions are called for.

xxThe Russian Five: A Story of Espionage, Defection, Bribery and Courage by Keith Gave EPUBWhen the Detroit Red Wings were rebooting their franchise after more than two decades of relative futility, they knew the best place to find world-class players who could turn things around more quickly were conscripted servants behind the Iron Curtain. All they had to do to get them was make history by drafting them and then figure out how to get them out of the Soviet Union.That's when the Wings turned to Keith Gave, the newsman whose clandestine mission to Helsinki, Finland, was the first phase of a years-long series of secret meetings from posh hotel rooms to remote forests around Europe to orchestrate their unlawful departures.One defection created an international incident and made global headlines. Another player faked cancer, thanks to the Wings' extravagant bribes to Russian doctors, including a big American car. Another player who wasn't quite ready to leave yet, felt like he was being kidnapped by an unscrupulous agent. Two others were outcast when they stood up publicly against the Soviet regime, winning their freedom to play in the NHL, only after years of struggle.They are the Russian Five: Sergei Fedorov, Viacheslav Fetisov, Vladimir Konstantinov, Vyacheslav Kozlov, and Igor Larionov. Their stories sound like pulse-pounding spy novels. What unfolded after they were brought together in Detroit by the masterful coach Scotty Bowman is heartwarming and unforgettable.This book includes details never before revealed, and by the man who was there every step of the way - from the day Detroit drafted its first two Soviets in 1989 until they raised the Stanley Cup in 1997, then took it to Moscow for a historic victory lap around Red Square and the Kremlin.The Russian Five did more to bridge Russian and American relations than decades of diplomacy and detente between the White House and the Kremlin. This is their story.xx


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