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Horse-trading and Political Opportunism: a big threat to Democracy of India

Representative democracy, which is unanimously conceived as a suitable form of government for very populous-cum-diverse countries like India, is basically embraced to insure proper representation and equitable as well as relentless voice of citizens of all constituencies in government. But the problem of political defection, resignation of representatives motivated by political and economic lure offered by opposition parties before the completion of tenure, is posing formidable impediment before the democracy in India.

Moreover, Anti-defection law has been inserted in 10th schedule of the Indian constitution through 52nd Constitutional Amendment Act (1985); which has explicitly stipulated that membership of such representatives ,who  embrace the political defection for personal gain, will be cancelled in their concerned house of legislature including state legislatures.

Furthermore, 91st Constitutional Amendment Act (2003) has again removed the prevalent loophole by declaring that split of political parties would be sound reason for cancellation of membership of all members of the faction, which would be merged in other parties.

Moreover, Supreme court of India has accepted  in Kihoto Hollohan Case (1993) ,contrary to parliament's assertion, the decision of compliance of Anti-defection law by presiding officer of concerned house of state legislatures or parliament as a challengeable in high courts and apex court in order to insure proper and unbiased implementation.

However, unbridled political defection and resignation of members of ruling coalition or ruling party ,due to horse-trading, is unfortunately a normal activity in India. In this way, the members of the ruling party are offered the huge amount of money and comparatively powerful post instead of resignation or political defection.

Thus, the fear of cancellation of membership of the concerned legislature contains no effect on the representatives due to the fulfillment of their desire of powerful post and collecting a big amount of money, for which merely such representatives have indeed joined the politics and elected with the help of money and muscle powers accompanied by criminalization of politics and politicization of criminals.

Moreover, political parties try to manipulate public opinion by breaking coalitions, fueling political defection and stimulating resignations of ruling party representatives to manufacture opportunities. In this process, new majority through new coalitions emerges, and consequently, new government forms.

Once election has been held and results have been declared, formation of government is started to be as a game of manipulation of public opinion. It happens more generally in case of coalition governments as well as governments with very short majority. Only that party can uphold the government who will be able to insure prevention of any type of political defection, resignation etc from itself.

So Consequently, the principal function of the governments becomes to maintain majority in the legislature by insuring no horse trading of their members rather than focusing on welfare schemes as well as proper functioning of government as per democratic values and citizens' desires.

Thus, all these deadlocks manifest in form of lack of development and welfare of the people, whose political affairs theoretically contains paramount importance in democracy but in ground reality citizens is being ignored and only political leaders defines the entire political gamut. Most importantly, citizens, inalienable parts of democracy, have no right to intervene in this manipulation of public opinion before the completion of tenure of five year, when the new elections would be held again.

Thus unethical and irresponsible political representatives, who have been elected through undemocratic and immoral means including money and muscle powers, merely try to enhance their political power and money; for which they embrace the way of political defection or resignation of their membership instead of lure offered by opposition political parties. Issue of dissent between different faction of ruling party is also conceived as a major reason behind resignation of members, so it needs to be addressed. Similarly, spreading political awareness and enhancing civic culture in our society will be prerequisite to imbibe a real democratic values. 

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