Saturday, May 18, 2024

VP bats for amending anti-defection law to plug loopholes

Naidu 1

Bengaluru, April 24: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday expressed concern over the loopholes in the anti-defection law, saying it paved way for wholesale defection and pitched for amendments to the legislation to make it effective.
Delivering a lecture on Media’s role in New India’ at the Press Club here, Naidu noted that there are certain loopholes in the anti-defection law which need to be plugged in order to curb defection of legislators from one party to another.
“It allows wholesale defection but not retail defection. So people try to mobilise number. The Vice President asked the elected representatives to resign and get re-elected than defecting to any other party. If the elected representatives want to leave the party, they should first resign the post and get re-elected.
“I think the time has come when we really amend that anti-defection law because there are certain loopholes,” Naidu said.
He also expressed unhappiness over the speakers, chairpersons and the courts dragging the anti-defection cases for years.
The chairmen and speakers have been vested with power to decide on defection, but in most of the cases they are not effectively dealt with, Naidu pointed out.
According to him, sometimes the decision is made even by the courts after the tenure is over.
There has to be a clarity in law and there should be timeline for the presiding officer or the speakers including the courts that it (defection) should be decided in six months maximum. I personally feel that it can be decided in three months. I have disposed of such cases, Naidu said.
As April 24 happened to be the Panchayat Raj Day, Naidu underlined the need to strengthen the local bodies, which are part of the three-tier administration of Indian democracy.
Let us all commit ourselves to strengthening these pillars of democracy by strengthening these institutions and respecting those institutions. This is my appeal to the people of the country and also to the leaders at various levels, the Vice President said.
He added that the funds, functions and functionaries should be transferred to these local bodies.
Referring to the role of media in strengthening democracy, he said it is important for the nation’s progress, strengthening of democracy, in reaching out to the aspirations of the people and developmental goals of the government.
Media gives information to the people and I always feel that information with confirmation is more than an ammunition. This has to be understood in real spirit, Naidu told the gathering.
Insisting upon unbiased and faithful journalism, the Vice President rued that obstructive and destructive reports find place in the media and not the constructive ones.
He asked the media to respect the institution.
Institutions must be respected. You are not dealing with a person, you are dealing with a chief minister, leader of the opposition, Prime Minister, Governor. This has to be kept in mind. If they go wrong, then you have got every right to criticise but you should not undermine the institution, the Vice President said.
Naidu lamented the disturbances in Parliament and Assemblies as he spoke about erosion of values in public life. He emphasised on the need for political parties to have a code of conduct for their members. (PTI)