OF late in INDIA there have been a spate of en masse resignation of the Members of Parliament and Members of the Legislative Assemblies of the states. The reasons cited are dependent on the political hue of the party they belong to. The issues that i am interested in is two fold:-
1. Whether the MPs and MLAs have a right to resign and if so, what is the alternate arrangement for ensuring the representation of the constituency that sent them, subsequent to the resignation of that MP or MLA?
2. Shud the grounds based on which the resignation is tendered, be enumerated in the Constitution and unless it falls within the prescribed reasons, the Speaker/Chair-person SHOULD NOT accept the resignation.
Getting publicity for one’s policies and principles, in a democratic set up is essential. No doubt, if the electorate is ignorant of the policies, for which a candidate stands for, he may not be able to make an informed choice and more importantly , that the electorate and the opposition would not be able to hold the MP/MLA responsible for not standing by what he promised to stand for.
But, if PUBLICITY overtakes the salubrious OBJECTIVES of the Parliamentary system, it is time to make rules stringent that the politicians and the political parties do not obfuscate the objectives of the system.
ARTICLES 101 & 190, state the mode of submission of RESIGNATION and after due verification ACCEPTANCE of the RESIGNATION by the SPEAKER/CHAIR-PERSON of the relevant house. After the 33rd Amendment to the CONSTITUTION OF INDIA, the resignation wud be complete only after verification and acceptance by the Speaker/ Chair-person of the house. Prior to the Amendment, the MP/MLAs were to enjoy the privilege of the constitutional functionaries like those of the Justices etc.
A reason to be furnished is not mandatory, much less the grounds to be reasonable.
This leads to the CONSTITUENCY GOING UNREPRESENTED till further elections. Much worse is the case when the MPs of a state resign en masse, as the cost of conducting the elections become prohibitive.
I am of the opinion that an MP/MLA shud be allowed to resign only on the grounds of ill-health. And, that also only after constituting the Medical Board which gives a certificate that the MP/MLA is truly under the debility cited.
Another deterrent would be that, as a cost cutting measure, the person who got the second HIGHEST NUMBER OF VOTES IN THAT CONSTITUENCY shud be allowed to step in and take oath. This wud greatly discourage political parties to resign en masse.
IF WE FAIL TO TAKE THESE MEASURES NOW, WE WOULD HAVE DONE A GREAT DISSERVICE TO DEMOCRACY, AND HAVE PLAYED INTO THE HANDS OF THE PLAYWRIGHTS WHO SCRIPT THESE SUBTERFUGES TO WIN THE NEXT ELECTIONS ON PUBLICITY AND GIMMICKS.