Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today said MLAs who switch parties should be banned from contesting elections for one term in order to prevent horsetrading in the event of a hung house. He was apparently referring to the post-poll situation in Karnataka where the BJP has staked claim to form the government despite being seven short of simple majority. On the other hand, JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy also has staked claim to form the government with Congress’ support as the two parties have a combined strength of 115 MLAs.
“Simply disqualifying defecting MLAs isn’t enough to stop horse trading since most of them come back with a mandate of their newly-discovered party. They should be barred from fighting elections for a period of not less than one term,” he tweeted. The National Conference leader also defended the Congress’ tactics in Karnataka, reminding the critics about the role played by the BJP in Goa and Manipur last year.
“Whether the Congress manages to form a government by supporting JD(S) or not, they shouldn’t be criticised for trying. The BJP would be doing exactly the same thing if the positions were reversed,” Abdullah said. “What about the other states where the BJP sneaked in through the back door? What’s sauce for the goose must be sauce for the gander,” he said.