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Corruption in the opposition ranks and dynasty are the twin planks on which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is attacking the opposition INDIA bloc. And yet on both these issues, the ruling party has no problem welcoming those leaders facing these very allegations into their fold and promptly forgetting the past.

The “corrupt “ are no longer so when they join the BJP; dynasts’ families are forgotten when they cross over to the ruling party. The BJP’s “washing machine”, which has been active for a decade, should become a case study in the art of politics but the question is — how long can the party afford to play this politics of double standards, without facing costs?

Just days ago, the latest entrant to the BJP was Ravindra Waikar, Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA and once an of aide of Uddhav Thackeray. Not surprisingly, Waikar is facing a probe by the Enforcement Directorate and he is among several opposition leaders who have joined the saffron party after facing a probe by the ED or the CBI.

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan switched sides from the Congress to the BJP just weeks ago soon after the Adarsh housing scam, in which he is accused, was mentioned by the centre in a “white paper” on corruption under the UPA.

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Chavan also got a Rajya Sabha seat within days, leading to some heartburn among BJP leaders in the state. And then of course there is the most famous Maharashtra example of Ajit Pawar, who faced major corruption charges, but jumped ship from the NCP and was appointed deputy chief minister.

Prime Minister Modi even publicly mentioned the irrigation scam at a rally, in which Ajit Pawar has been accused, but days later, Ajit Pawar was warmly embraced by the BJP. The PM’s remark that the NCP was the most “corrupt” party was forgotten.

It’s the same story with dynasts. A number of leaders from political families have joined the BJP over the last ten years. Many have been rewarded with ministries like Jyotiraditya Scindia or Jiten Prasada. All of this at the cost of BJP workers and loyalists on the ground. That is now beginning to tell.

Recently, six Congress MLAs in Himachal Pradesh revolted against the party. The media reported that BJP leaders in the state were uneasy at the thought of their possible switch to the BJP.

That’s because the BJP has been targeting these leaders for corruption for years and would now have to seek votes for them instead.

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Discomfort within BJP

The same discomfort was evident in the party when senior Congress leader Kamal Nath almost jumped ship last month.

Sources say Nath was very keen to leave the Congress but having targeted him for decades over the anti Sikh riots of 1984 and corruption, the BJP saw a pushback within over taking him. Ultimately, the doors were closed for Nath him — though not for his supporters in Madhya Pradesh.

The BJP has built up a formidable cadre and support base over the decades. From having just two MPs in the Lok Sabha in 1984 to 303 MPs today, the party has come a long way on the back of its organisational strength and the support of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Today, in its desperation to dismantle the opposition, the BJP is taking in one turncoat after another.

Not every defection is necessarily a bad one, some leaders who cross over also bring supporters and add value. But most have come because they are facing cases and are under pressure. And the BJP is happy to embrace them.

At some point, it’s not just BJP leaders internally but even voters who will start questioning this policy, which can only hurt the BJP in the long term.