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Power-crazy leaders learn a hard lesson

Updated on: 18 May,2009 08:46 AM IST  | 
S Suresh Kumar |

It's a pattern across India. Politicians who merrily switched sides now lie in the electoral dustbin

Power-crazy leaders learn a hard lesson

It's a pattern across India. Politicians who merrily switched sides now lie in the electoral dustbin

The clarity of the Lok Sabha mandate has taken everyone, including the victorious Congress, by surprise.

Twenty-four hours ago, TV channels were discussing the legal options before the President in case of a hung parliament. All that became irrelevant by yesterday afternoon.

Politicians were supremely confident they could bargain, switch sides, and fool the people. They hadn't imagined the voter would short-circuit them.

The media speculated for 40 days. Nobody predicted that betrayers of the people would be booted out.

Let's look at some notable bootees:

Lalu Prasad Yadav, RJD:u00a0 The former railway minister has entertained the media with his witticisms. He put personal gain over all else, but voters told him it was time to get off.

Ram Vilas Paswan, LJP: Was ready to join anyone. Shared power both with the Congress and the BJP. This time he formed an alliance with Lalu. Voters showed him the door.

Karat and Sitaram, Left parties: The "king makers" were in and out of an alliance with the Congress. They have been routed from states where they were traditionally strong for more than a decade.

Ramadoss and Anbumani, PMK: The father and son enjoyed switching sides. Their calculations went awry this time. It's a defeat they won't forget in a hurry.

Vaiko, MDMK: He lost credibility with voters, and his own party members, who enjoyed power at the centre, left him just before the elections. He is today a lonely man.

Gowdas, JDS: H D Deve Gowda strutted about making grand statements, but forgot the voters. He slept both with the BJP and the Congress. He sent son Kumaraswamy to Sonia two days before the election result. The party fared miserably, but Gowda and Kumaraswamy have won.

Jaya, AIADMK: Thought she would offer support to the winning party at the centre and demand DMK's ouster from Tamil Nadu. Her sudden turnaround on Eelam didn't impress voters.u00a0 Her plans lie in the dust today.u00a0

Many other party changers, like H T Sangliana in Bangalore, have been defeated.

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