Post-poll political alliance

The recent coalition in Maharashtra where three political parties came together to form an alliance saw certain voters moving to the Supreme Court to challenge the unholy alliance. Post-poll alliances have been subject to debate of immorality, as parties fought against each other now come together.

It is important to note that the Tenth schedule of constitution mentions about prevention of unethical defections and horse trading. Thus the need of the hour is that the definition of a party under anti-defection must be interpreted in a board manner to keep it in line with the objective of the Tenth schedule.

In case of polling, voters know who they are voting for, while post-poll alliances compromise this aspect of democratic politics. The Supreme Court in the Kihoto Hollohan vs Zachilhu case, elaborate the objective behind the anti-defection law. It said that the law seeks to recognise the need to put in place political and personal conduct above theoretical assumptions. It said that the objective of tenth schedule is to curb the evil of defections which ending democracy. The remedy lies in disqualification of the member of the house. The SC also emphasised that such provisions are intended to curb unethical political defections.

A political party functions of shared beliefs and with any of its member voting independently of party’s policies will dent the party’s image as well as undermine public confidence. The case of post-poll alliances are equally unethical as various ideologies and objective come together.

Way forward

To curb this menace, there is a need to expand the Tenth Schedule’s ambit to prevent post-poll alliances who were contesting against each other earlier.

The Election Commission must classify parties basis on their ideology and objectives and only in selective case post-poll alliances must be permitted, where parties share a common set of belief. This will ensure that the voter’s importance remains intact in a democracy.

Question for UPSC Mains:
In recent times, post poll alliances between parties have become inevitable in electoral politics. Comment on the need for a legal framework to curb this unethical practice.

Published: December 17, 2019 | Modified:December 17, 2019

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