An Analytical Study on the Politics of Defection in India
In a parliamentary system, party discipline is the impulse; when it falls short, the government usually falls. Conceivably, the platform of Indian politics suffers with innumerous practical disorders. The politics of defection is one such specie entailing gross miscarriage of fair conduct turning politics into a game of thrones (powers). This practice of political nomaditude can trace its seed in the womb of British House of Commons. Therein, if a legislator was found to cross the floor, the party considered him disloyal. In other words, the legislator lost his allegiance to his former party by joining another party. This very phenomenon, in practice has a two way traffic i.e. ruling party to the opposition party or vice versa. The democracies like USA, Australia and Canada were also aware of this fashion of swapping loyalties. There have been several instances of great politicians changing party allegiance, for example Winston Churchill, Ramsay McDonald, William Gladstone etc. Nevertheless, it is interesting to cite that irrespective of such practice of changing party allegiance, none of the democracies in the west ever desired or felt the need to legislatively ban defections. But, exceptionally India can be traced to have passed anti-defection laws. The politics of defection had been a unique popular phenomenon on the floor of Indian Parliamentary system gradually gulping the democratic essence and synchronization of the Federation. This study is both analytical and doctrinal, which tries to examine whether representative democracy has lost its essence due to political nomadism. The present study also analyzes the classical as well as contemporary pulse of floor crossing amidst dynastic politics in a representative democracy. It will briefly discuss the panorama of defections under the Indian federal structure in the light of the anti-defection law and an attempt has been made to add valuable suggestions to streamline remedy for the still prevalent political defections.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.1316133Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 1912
 L.P. Singh, “Political development or political decay in India?” Research Planning and Review Division, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, Defections, 1968. University of British Columbia, Pacific Affairs, vol. 44, no. 1, pp. 65–80, Spring 1971.
 (2004) 8 SCC 747.
 U. R. Rai, Constitutional Law – I, 1st ed., Lukhnow: Eastern Book Company, 2016, pp. 192–193.
 P.A. Kamath, “Politics of Defection in India in the 1980s,” in Asian Survey, vol. 25, no. 10, University of California Press,1985, pp. 1039–1054.
 The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution,Final Report, par 4.19, 2002.
 W.H. Jones, India’s political miracle. Australian Journal of Politics and History, vol. XII, No. 2, pp. 213–220, Aug. 1966.
 S.-C. Kashyap, Anti-Defection Law and Parliamentary Privileges. Delhi, 2nd ed., Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. 2003, pp. 02–05.
 K. C. Subhas, “Parliamentary Procedure, Law, Privileges, Practice and Precedents,” 3rd edition, 2014.
 J.T. Shotwell, Democracy and political morality. Political Science Quarterly, vol. 36 no. 1, pp. 01–08, Mar. 1921.
 “Defection, disaffection” The Hindu, December 8, 2017.
 1992 SCR (1) 686.
 Mayawativ. Markendeya Chand, AIR 1998 SC 3340: The Supreme Court held that the Speaker’s decision was perverse.
 (2007) 4 SCC 270.
 AIR 1996 SC 1060.
 1993 SCR (1) 769.
 2006 (11) SCC 1.
 (1998) 7 SCC 517.
 B. V. Kumar. “Anti-defection law: welcome reforms,” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 38 no. 19, pp. 1837–1838, May 2003.
 K.Upadhyay, “Two MLAs disqualified from Uttarakhand assembly,” The Hindu, June 09, 2016.
 N. Chandhoke, “The ironies of small states,” The Hindu, Apr.28, 2016.
 “Defection from Development,” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 3 no. 1/2, pp. 5–9, Jan. 1968
 P. deSouza, S. Pawar, S. Silva and E. Carvalho, “Dynamics of a working democracy: representative politics in a Goa constituency,” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 41, no. 16, pp. 1574-1583, Apr. 2006.
 “A Structural Malaise: Money power has torn apart the formal political institutions in Karnataka,” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 45, no. 43, p. 08, Oct. 2010.
 “Defections Galore,” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 01, no. 17, pp. 723–725, Dec. 1966.
 A. M. Singhvi, “Judicial activism is like an unruly horse,” Indian Express, May 04, 2007.
 N. Robinson, “Expanding Judiciaries: India and the Rise of the Good Governance Court,” 8 Wash. U. Global Stud. L. Rev., vol. 1, 2009.
 AmarnathTewary, “After Nitish quits as CM, Bihar mega alliance in crisis,” The Hindu, p. 1, July 27, 2017.
 P. Bhushan, “Are amendments required in the anti-defection act?” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 32, no. 47, pp. 22–28, Nov. 1997.