Daily Post 1548


Given the recent display of MLAs in Rajasthan and other states in a battle for supremacy and power, the language used by the media is pretty disparaging. Procuring MLAs has been the language used on numerous occasions. They are the law makers and they know nuances of the law. They can make any side strong. They have the right to choice undoubtedly, but the aspersions being cast for their decision making is what intrigues the masses. As per the Constitution of India whosoever has the majority of MLAs on their side is the winner. Power is the life blood of politics and it cannot survive without that. We have seen parties getting into wilderness once they are out of power for a long time.

The game changer has been the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha scandal in 1993. It is told that corruption got institutionalised in India. This sordid saga could have been avoided. But this is now a fact our existence. This scandal did not involve the corruption of bureaucrats but by the members of Parliament. On July 28, 1993, 10 MPs belonging to JMM and Janata Dal cast their votes against no-confidence motion moved against the minority government of PV Narasimha Rao. The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that as per Article 105(2) of the Constitution of India, no MP ”can be made liable to any proceedings in any court with respect to any vote given by him in Parliament.” The Supreme Court dismissed all the cases against them.

The anti-defection law technically the Tenth Schedule of the Indian Constitution was enacted to stall instability in the parliamentary system which works on the permutation and combination of numbers of the elected representatives. This law predates the ignominious incidents narrated in the preceding paragraph. The loopholes of the law has been used in wide, varied and extremely ingenious ways to rock or gain immensely. What the individual gains or not in a small part of the story, the non-governance which emanates out of such coalitions is for sure antithetical to our democratic existence.

Managing loopholes is only one part of this story. What is disturbing is the fact that it is not connected to the democratic mandate as expressed in the elections. The moral of the story is that between the elected representatives, governments can be created, notwithstanding what the elections have decided. We are in a stage where the elected representatives are ready to quit their seats for a different Govt to get created. They are ready to get re-elected or even lose. The human psychology works for gains, whatever might be the nature of it. It will be quite some time, when political scientists would be able to tell its impact on parliamentary democracy, the dwindled role of elections in government formation and its impact on governance.


Sanjay Sahay

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Scroll to Top