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Need For Recall

"Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic, Equality"

We are all very familiar to the above mentioned terms. We do find them in preamble of constitution of India. Our preamble says that India will always be a democratic country where every gender/religion/cast/creed will enjoy equal status and will be treated equally. In a democratic country, elections play a major role in ensuring the democracy of country as they socialize and institutionalize political activity. The general elections, mid elections, by-elections all of these plays a major role in ensuring the growth, development in every aspect of nation which ultimately will play a role in strengthening the unity & enhancing the democracy of the country.

The change in government does play a role in channelizing the democracy and development of nation as there will be less chances for the party in power to take their given positions, powers, and voters for granted. For years we have seen the tendency of contested candidates to do a fake promise to win a election. Many fake promises were being done by many MP's/MLA's/Ministers like transfer of 15 lakh rupees to every individual of country, Free Wi-Fi, 10 lakh jobs etc. Even a fake and baseless argument was also given from many ministers of governing government and other so called expert of the country that Indian economy can touch $10 trillion in next 15 years but looking at the current economic status of the country as of 2021 its very less likely to happen.

We need to accept the very sad truth that there's nothing in our system which will expose all the lies/fake promise which are said by the MP's/MLA's/Ministers for just winning the elections. It's very sad to say that there's nothing in the Indian system which will impose penalties on those who does fake promises just to win the election and to benefit themselves[1].

It's a sad truth that in recent days voters do fall in the trap of fake promises done by MP's/MLA's/ministers just to win elections. With the hope that the promises which are being done by MP's/MLA's/ministers will be fulfilled, voters give their votes to them and make them the winner but sadly after winning the election, many of MP's/MLA's/ministers doesn't do their work properly. Recently a minister of the state promised free wifi to its state people just before the state election and guess what ,the promise turns out to be a fake election promise.

A politician revived his own political life by promising 10 lakh jobs but till date nothing has been done to ensure 10 lakh jobs to the youth of the state. Even in the time of corona pandemic, when vaccination became very important to ensure the eradication of Covid ,an ex-cm of a state said that he won't get himself vaccinated as his vaccination will benefit the ruling party at the centre of the country.

Un-surprisingly & expectedly, many of his supporters and followers supported the statement given by ex-cm of the state which was completely baseless and illogical. Many leaders are using some means to keep themselves alive in the news which in some way will contribute in the growth of their popularity which may help them to win elections.

Sadly our country do not have any kind of penal provisions to punish those MLA's/MP's/Ministers who does fake promises to keep themselves alive in front of media & public and to win the elections. Even if the citizens realises that MP's/MLA's/ Ministers have done fake promises, we don't have a system which will allow the voters of the country to remove them based on grounds of doing fake political promises.

Our system need to understand that as MLA's/MP's/Ministers enjoys power and status due to voter votes for them and make them winner. Its the voter/public who makes a MLA/MP/Minister powerful by casting vote to them which makes the MLA's/MP'S/Ministers accountable to the voters/public.

To ensure that certain kind of accountability, the citizens of this country must be guaranteed a right called Right to recall so that if the voters realises that MP'S/MLA's/Ministers has faked his promise to win the election then the general public will have that certain power to remove that MP/MLA/Minister from power who just want to benefit himself.

Now one question may arise in the minds of the readers that what's actually Right to recall? What is Recall election? Is the concept of right to recall very new or it has existed?

Basically Right to recall are those laws which exist in some states of India that allow citizens to remove or replace public servants holding posts like sarpanch, mukhiya, corporator, and mayor in the government[2]. The right to remove public servants and right to recall was first demanded by Bhagat singh & Sachindra Nath Sanyal in December 1924 through the manifest of Hindustan Republican association where he stated that "In this Republic the electors shall have the right to recall their representatives, if so desired, otherwise the democracy shall become a mocker"[3].

The matter of right to recall was discussed briefly in the constituent assembly where many stated that as the voters do have the right to elect, they must be given right to recall as a remedy if things doesn't go good after election. However Dr. B.R Ambedkar didn't agree to the proposal as he and many felt that Right to Recall would render the constituencies a battleground between candidates and unnecessarily make them victims of political rivalry[4] where few individuals stated that Recall would help in political schooling of individuals and would urge voters to think.

The iron man of India Sardar Vallabh bhai Patel on 18 July while discussing proposed amendment on power to recall in Constituent Assembly Debates said that "If there are any stray instances or some black sheep who having lost the confidence of their constituency still want to continue to represent the constituency in the House, for some such bad instances we should not disfigure our Constituency. We should leave it as it is, to the good sense of the members concerned" [5].

It's not like that laws like Right to Recall hasn't been implemented. It has been implemented at Panchayat level in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra Madhya Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh.

In the procedure of recall election at panchayat level over sarpanch , certain no. of signatures/thumb impression/petitions are been collected in the collectors office and after that as soon as the verification of the signatures are being done , a meeting of all the Gram Sabha members is organized and if majority of the Gram Sabha votes goes against the sitting Sarpanch, the Sarpanch is removed[6]. Although laws like Right to Recall does exist but are not exercised efficiently at the panchayat level due to lack of awareness among the masses.

Although villagers in these states having direct power to remove their Sarpanch, still the corruption done by Sarpanch of these states is very high as they know that they won't be thrown out of power due to lack of awareness and knowledge among masses. Recall has also been implemented at Municipal level in the states of Madhya Pradesh Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Rajasthan. Even the Constitution (Amendment) Bill on Voters' right to recall elected representatives was introduced in lower house by C. K. Chandrappan in 1974 where Atal Bihari Vajpayee had supported this but unfortunately the bill did not pass.

As of now right to recall cannot be used to remove MP's/MLA's/Ministers and the right not being implemented in proper way in panchayat and municipal level due to lack of awareness is contributing in the rise of corruption in the country. Our system needs to understand if right to recall is implemented properly and guaranteed to citizens against different levels of public servants which will include ground level public servants like mayor to public servants of high levels like PM, CM etc. , then it will bring fears in the minds of those public servants of losing power and to retain their respective power and positions they will do their work seriously & honestly.

Right to recall exist only in panchayat and municipal level in India. It does have certain provisions in foreign countries, guaranteed to its respective citizens. Now lets understand the mechanism of recall.

A recall election is a process by which certain voters can remove an elected official through petition before term of office of official has ended. The concept of recall came from Athenian democracy which started in 6th century B.C in Greek city ( now named Polis) which was actually city of Athens.

Concept of Recall was introduced with an intention that if it is found that elected representative is not doing his/her work properly then they can be removed from the position of power by written request of specific numbers of voters. Presently recall election are being called actively in the countries like United states, Peru, and Japan.

In the United states, the recall has been used successfully against top officials like judges, mayors, & state governors. Although recall is not used extensively, recall has been used to remove governors in North Dakota (1921) and California (2003). Following an unpleasant sectarian battle, "Democrats and Republicans over the right of public employees to bargain collectively, Wisconsin experienced in 2011 the single largest recall attempt in U.S. history"[7].

Six Republicans and three Democrats in the 33-member state senate came under a recall election but only two senators (both were Republicans) were defeated. Wisconsin's Republican governor Scott Walker also came under a recall in 2012, but he won. In 2018 California state senator Josh Newman, who was a Democrat, lost his position of power due to recall.

Recall has a brief history in California since 1913. "Since 1913, there have been 179 recall attempts of state elected officials in California. Eleven recall efforts collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot and of those, the elected official was recalled in six instances. One recall effort is currently qualified for the ballot to be held on September 14, 2021."[8].

End-Notes:
  1. Why Is Indian Politics Scarred By Fake Election Promises? 2021 . English . Ajay Amitabh Suman . Youth Ki Awaaz
  2. Right to Recall laws in India 2021. English. Wikipedia contributors. Wikipedia
  3. Bhagat Singh, Sachindra Nath Sanyal -- had demanded Right To Recall English. Flickr
  4. Journal of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies January - December 2015
  5. Constituent Assembly Of India Debates (Proceedings)-Volume IV Friday, the 18th July 1947.
  6. Right to Recall laws in India 2021. English. Wikipedia contributors. Wikipedia
  7. Recall election | Definition, History, & Facts English Encyclopedia Britannica
  8. Recall history in California (1913- present). (2021). .https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/recalls/recall-history-california-1913-present

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