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Curbing defections.. Mere statements no use; Venkaiah should act

Sun, Jun 26, 2016, 05:34 PM
Hyderabad, June 26: Even as a lot of statements war is going on during the past few months over the defections by political leaders, particularly the elected representatives, the recent assertion of the Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs, M Venkaiah Naidu, on disqualification of defectors, has become a subject matter of discussion in political and social circles of late. Venkaiah Naidu has stated that there was a need for changes in the anti-defection laws to disqualify any public representative who jumps from one political party to the other, on the same day.

The senior BJP leader stated that switching loyalty from one political party to another is the right of every politician, but any politician who changed party for lack of faith in leadership should resign (to the post he was elected). He added that changing parties without resigning is not limited to the two Telugu States and the trend exists in other States too.

The Union Minister’s observation is being welcomed by many sections who are lovers of democracy and parliamentary system and who wants to uphold morals and ethics in politics. These sections feel that many undesirable developments are taking place in both the Telugu States quite for some time now in regard to defections, and there is a need for taking some effective measures to check the same.

It may be mentioned in this context, that the YSR Congress leader B Karunakar Reddy has demanded the Union Government to take steps to ensure that the powers that be to disqualify the legislators who switched loyalty to other party be vested with the Election Commission, instead of the Speaker as at present. He welcomed the remarks of the Union Minister on the need to strengthen the anti-defection Law.

While the YSR party leader’s suggestion can be considered as one of the solutions to deal with defections, there is a view that time has come now for clearly re-defining the powers and functions of Constitutional authorities such as the Speaker (Presiding Officers of Legislatures), and the Governor, in dealing with matters such as defections and defectors continuing in positions.

It is also felt that the Union Minister making mere statements to play to the galleries and to get headlines is not enough, and he should act to implement what he stated. Being the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, it is for him to take the initiative and get the anti-defection Laws strengthened and also to clearly re-define the powers and functions of Constitutional authorities, with a view to upholding the democratic values and ethics. While the BJP and its allies are in good numbers in Parliament, other parties like the Congress, Left parties, YSRCP and so on will also support such moves.

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