DailyPost 2098

Legislators who would not have battled an eyelid to vote in favor or against any bill, as per the diktats of the party, on the floor of house, are today indulging in discussion regarding the constitutional legality of their acts. This is the magic defection can do to you. Constitutional lawyers are flown by chartered flights to discuss the legal nitty gritty of what a political imbroglio is about to land defectors into. Defectors have been a prized lot in this country these days and so have they always been always. There have always been takers. The spirit of the constitution has not been anybody’s foray, to manage the constitution technically is the name of the game. Anti-defection law is also dealt with in the same cavalier fashion. Has it been able to bring down defections? The jury is still out.

The constitutional process is very simple. Get elected in the name of a party or as an independent. The party with a majority will form the government. In case of that not being the case, the single largest party will gain the support of smaller parties and /or independents and from the government. How many times have you seen this simple constitutional formula being flouted? Anti-defection law is only one part of the story, the unholy alliance of political parties is even more dangerous. That does not attract any negative gaze of law. Any combination can be created which can force the constitution to run in a lameduck manner. This is the operational formula that gets executed any number of times.

The party coming to power is one part of the story, respecting democratic mandate is the second side of the same coin. The third aspect that keeps the coin standing permanently is that every legislator should have a look, feel, tantrums and influence of every type, all the while. He has his own very own formula of calculating it. When situation demands they can form groups, as per the requirements of a political crisis and to engineer a group which can create a political crisis. Dissent is the name of another well-known political game, it is a non-legal defection, so to say, and the patching up keeps happening day in and day out. This is euphemistically known as political acumen and strategizing. Take for example the present Maharashtra case, if even ten percent of the serious confabulations happening to master successful defections were done for the purpose of growth and development, the plight of the masses would have improved at least a bit.

Does one CM not meeting his MLAs or making them wait or not giving them their due, as per their judgement, give them the right to put the whole state in a political and governance stalemate. Does democracy not have a better mechanism to sort it out or stall it? The conviction towards democracy is the last thing they have, but the lip service is mind boggling. People who don’t have the mindset of not defecting or conversely being loyal, are not the ones who can enact an anti-defection law and live by it. What loopholes are left in it, by default or design, are being exploited to the hilt. Every legislator is a law unto himself and if they come together for the purpose of seizing power, it can prove to be fatal. More often than not, there is a carrot round the corner, if there is nothing great to achieve, what value defection will bring to them. The spirit of the constitution has long been gone.

Sanjay Sahay

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