Anti Defection Law: In 1985, the Rajiv Gandhi government brought the anti-defection law. Its main objective was to stop horse trading. This law has been placed in the 10th schedule of the constitution.
Maharashtra Politics: In Maharashtra, NCP leader Ajit Pawar rebelled against his own party and became the Deputy Chief Minister in the Shinde-Fadnavis government. Along with him, 8 other NCP MLAs also took oath as ministers. After the whole incident, the proverb ‘Aaya Ram Gaya Ram’ has again come into the limelight. Ajit Pawar claimed the support of 40 MLAs but the numbers were not visible in his meeting. In such a situation, in order to avoid the defection law once again, the tussle is going on in both the groups to make the figures in their favor.
When the party changed thrice in a single day
After all, the story behind why the anti-defection law was brought is also quite interesting. It is about 1967. Independent candidate Gaya Lal won from Haryana’s Hasanpur assembly seat. He changed party thrice in a single day. First he joined the Congress, then left the Congress and joined the Janata Party. Within 9 hours, he again changed the party and again joined the Congress. With this incident, the proverb ‘Aaya Ram Gaya Ram’ became famous for the defectors.
What is anti-defection law?
In 1985, Rajiv Gandhi’s government passed the anti-defection law by the 92nd constitutional amendment to prevent frequent political upheavals and horse trading. The purpose of this law was to stop the change of party of leaders for political gains. This law has been placed in the Tenth Schedule.
Under the Tenth Schedule, a person may be disqualified from being a member of—
State Legislative Council
Disqualification means that a person who is disqualified cannot be a member of either of these houses. After this act, the process of defection was reduced to a great extent.
Switching Teams Without Facing Disqualification
Changing one’s political party without facing disqualification There are certain circumstances in which an MLA or MP can change his party without facing disqualification. The anti-defection law allows a political party to merge with another party if at least two-thirds of its legislative members agree to the merger. In the event of a merger, the party’s legislative members will not face disqualification, even if they have agreed to the merger, or have opted to function as a separate group without the merger.
Who can disqualify the MLAs?
The decision whether a legislator (a member of parliament in parliament) should be disqualified or not is taken by the Speaker or the Speaker i.e. the Presiding Officer of the Legislature. A legislator is allowed to appeal to the court against the decision of the presiding officer.
The process of changing the party is still going on
2016 – Out of 43 MLAs of Arunachal Pradesh’s People’s Party, 33 MLAs joined BJP.
2018 – 2 MLAs of Congress party in Goa changed party and joined BJP.
2020 – In Madhya Pradesh, 22 MLAs of the Congress party rebelled against the party and resigned and joined the BJP on 21 March.
2022 – Shiv Sena MLAs protested and Shiv Sena broke the party and formed government with BJP.
Defection game in Maharashtra
In the last few years, there has been a spurt in cases of defections in Maharashtra. In the year 2022, Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde left the party along with two-thirds of his own party’s MLAs. He joined the government in alliance with the BJP. Due to this Shiv Sena got divided into two factions. Of these, one group sided with Eknath Shinde and the other with Uddhav Thackeray. Eknath Shinde took oath as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. On 2 July 2023, NCP’s Ajit Pawar along with his party’s MLAs became the Deputy Chief Minister in the Shinde–Fadnavis government. NCP has a total of 53 MLAs. If Ajit Pawar is to avoid disqualification, he should have the support of at least 37 MLAs. Ajit Pawar has claimed that more than 40 MLAs are in his support.