Democratic Politics (NTSE/Olympiad)  

2. Political Parties

How Can Parties Be Reformed ?

How Can Parties Be Reformed ?
(i) The constitution was amended to prevent elected MLAs and MPs from changing parties. This was done because many elected representatives were indulging in defection in order to become ministers to for cash rewards. Now the law says that if any MLA or MP changes parties, he or she will lose the seat in the legislature. This new law has helped bring defection down. At the same time this has made any dissent even more difficult. MPs and MLAs have to accept whatever the party leaders decide.
(ii) The Supreme Court passed an order to reduce the influence of money and criminals. Now it is mandatory for every candidate who contests elections to fill an affidavit giving details of his property and criminal cases pending against him. The new system has made a lot of information available to the public. But there is no system of check if the information given by the candidates is true. As yet we do not know if it has led to decline in the influence of the rich and the criminals.
(iii) Hold organisational election and file their income tax return. The election commission passed an order making it necessary for political parties to hold their organisation elections and file their income tax returns. The parties have started doing so, sometimes only in formality. It is not clear if this step has led to greater internal democracy in political parties.


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