Critically analyse the Role of independent candidates in elections of India.

Published: May 27, 2019

Independent candidates are the ones who aren�t affiliated to any political party. These candidates have lack of resources, lower visibility�and poor strike rate.
Role of Independent members:

  • Independent representatives have the same power and privileges as those associated with political parties but since legislation in democracy is driven by numbers, they have little to no influence after being elected
  • The law commission even recommended that they should be barred as they are not serious and confuse voters
  • The last private member�s bill was passed almost half a decade ago and no independent MP�s bill has ever been passed
  • Since time to speak in parliament is allotted based on the strength of parties, independent representatives get minuscule time for speech or debates
  • With no influence over the executive, they can do little for their local constituencies
  • They have no whip to follow but are subject to horse trading at times

The very essence of democracy is the promise that every citizen is free to aspire and run for the highest office. There have been numerous instances where independent candidates have gained victory over established leaders. And though they might not have substantial legislative power or influence on executive, they can still draw the attention of the government.
The 17th lok sabha will have 3 independent members which is the lowest ever. In assembly and municipal elections too their numbers has seen substantial decline. Overall, independent candidates might be a nuisance with little potential to bring any change but they represent the power to run against the most powerful and the freedom to run for their ideas. That ideology of them must be praised at every level.

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