Democracy is defined as government Of the People, By the People For the People.

But it is also said that Democracy is Mob o-cracy.

Today’s political scenario in India proves first say wrong and confirms the second version.

Article 324 of Indian Constitution provides for formation, appointment in office and functions of Election Commission. It is vested with conducting Election of Assembly, Parliament and Municipality, Panchayat etc.

There is also provision for disqualification on ground of defection in Tenth Schedule of the Constitution. It was inserted in 1985. Schedule Ten refers to the defection by Members of Parliament and Assembly. Such disqualification does not apply if there is merger of two political parties with two third Members of legislature agrees to such merger. Courts have no Jurisdiction to try disqualification matters under Tenth Schedule.

There is no law governing party manifestos too. There are no prosecution provisions for breach of promises given in manifesto or for not complying with promises given to the voters before election.

There are no Statute governing :

  1. Pre-poll alliance or
  2. Post-Poll alliance or
  3. Cancellation or termination of Pre-Poll alliance before election
  4. Termination or Breach of Pre-Poll alliance after election is over.
  5. Post -Poll alliances

Casting Vote is Constitutional Duty but, breach of alliance is not. Voters are non-est entity without any power or rights are bound to accept the decision of parties entering post poll alliance for formation of government, to keep largest party out of power. Citizens have no right in such cases to stop or challenge. Result is fall of government and re-election. Members of Assembly and Parliament are elected to govern common citizens who are voters, however it has reduced nothing but to grab power.

  When there is  deviation from pre – poll alliance, can it be said that there is fraud played on Voters is alliance is terminated after election for power play? Sometimes Voters cast votes on basis of manifesto and leaders who are seeking votes or who is going to lead as Prime Minister or Chief Minister. However due to breach or termination of the alliance, scenario changes. Due to falling short of majority mark Largest Party sits as opposition party and small fractions come together to form government by creating post-poll alliance or in breach of pre-poll alliance.

This leads to several instances of horse trading, and,locking elected MLAs and MPs in hotel to stop defection from party. This is though in violation of fundamental rights and wrongful confinement, it is never challenged in court of law, nor any FIR filed for such confinement by elected representatives against their party high commands.

Why Post Poll coalition should not be encouraged 

  1. There is breach of trust of Voters who casted Vote for a purpose. This defeats the purpose and also compromises constitutional federal structure;
  2. In coalition government strong party even though it has less seat can control weak party leaders, which will affect policy decisions;
  3. Defense, foreign policy Judiciary etc decisions are affected or prejudiced;
  4. Finance, health and education policy conflicts

When a party seeks votes on the basis of pre-poll alliance and then subsequently after results for any reason distracts or breach  understanding, voters become non-entity and politicians enjoy power game. In such case there should be law to disqualify such coalition party in alliance to resign and seek voter’s confidence again?

In such circumstances political crisis arise and there is uncertainty of policy implementation.

 There is custom in many countries to enter into Agreement and register. It’s given color of law and binding on parties. Such alliance Agreements are duly registered.

In India it’s called Common Minimum Program. But it doesn’t treated as legal contract.Should such Common Minimum Program be given legal sanctity and status? Should there be law of Accountability towards citizens? Can citizens be treated as non-entity and are mute spectator? Can in event of breach of pre-poll alliance erring party be penalised heavily? Whether there should be penal provisions to stop such violations?

These issues must be considered by Supreme Court under Article 32. There is a need to fill Vacuum of policy and make law for governing alliances post-poll or pre-poll. Presently this issue is before both Supreme Court and Bombay High Court. It will be interesting to know what approach Court takes in matter.

Shruti Desai

Mumbai.

15th November,2019

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