Enumerate the major flaws and possible solution of the anti-defection law. Why it is said that this law fails to safeguard a party member if his or her party president becomes a dictator? Discuss in the light of recent examples.

Published: November 21, 2017

There are several major flaws in the current Anti-defection law. Firstly, it restricts freedom of speech and vote on issues of MPs/MLAs inside the Parliament/Legislature because whips are issues for more than 90% of issues. Secondly, the decision of Speaker/Chairperson is mostly politically motivated as seen in Tamil Nadu recently. Thirdly, the status of expelled members is still not clear; this issue is now being dealt with constitutional bench of SC. Fourthly, even after voluntarily giving up the party membership, many a times MPs/MLAs are not disqualified by Speaker/Chairperson for inordinate time, as seen in Andhra Pradesh recently.
The intention of this law was noble but it has resulted into unintended consequence of making the party high command very powerful. Sometimes, when the party president has dictatorial tendencies then MPs and MLAs can’t speak their mind in parliament or party meetings or outside to media. Thus, they are left with little incentive to research, discuss and debate the issue independently and have to toe the party line on almost all issues.
The solution to this is to include some conditions when and in what circumstances, a whip can be issued or not issued during parliamentary procedures such as Non-confidence motion.

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