Bypassing of Anti-Defection law: Recent Scenario

By Gunsimran Kaur

The Anti-Defection Law of 1985 has failed to serve it’s purpose as members of certain political parties have found ways to bypass this legislation brought about to curb the same.

The political corridors of Kartnatka were recently embroiled in a situation where the Congress-JD(S) coalition government was brought down due to resignation of the rebel MP’s of the parties. The government lost the confidence vote and hence paved way for BJP to form the government due to truncated membership of the house. This was reported to be facilitated due to horse trading by BJP of these rebel MP’s. Though the Supreme Court has disqualified them as of now of their membership of the house but originally they tried to bypass the law by ensuring that resignation does not disqualifies them under the 10th Schedule.

Turning eastwards towards Sikkim, an altogether peculiar situation has taken place.The BJP got less than 2% vote share  and 0 seats in the recently held assembly elections but today it holds 10 seats in the 32 member assembly. All thanks to the exception of the Schedule which states that if more than 2/3rd members of a political party merge (switch) to other party.In this case 10 out of 11 MLA’s of the Sikkim Democratic Front merged with BJP , hence falling under the exception of the law. The only member left is surprisingly the longest serving former CM of the state- Pawan Chamling.

The recent happenings in Goa also point towards the trend of bypassing the Anti -Defection Law. The merger of opposition members in the ruling party definitely highlights  that the mandate of the public is not being respected. Hence, is the need to plug in the lacunae in the present provisions of the anti defection law to ensure it is serving it’s purpose.

The CRCLP welcomes recommendations by the readers on revamping the Anti-Defection Law in order to ensure that the same is not bypassed, on our email

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