Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 17 April 2024 6.09 PM IST

Democracy that gets subverted


Democracy is sometimes subverted by money and power. There are many examples of this in Indian politics from the bottom level to the topmost level. After the Anti-defection law came into effect, this became not as easy as it used to be. However, it is still repeated in many situations. No political party stays away from this. High political values ​​are undermined when the goal of political parties is narrowed down to securing power through any means.

The BJP candidate won the mayor's post in the union territory of Chandigarh only because of a misdemeanour by the presiding officer. When such actions take place, the people who voted can only stand as mute witnesses. But more than a setback for any party, the extraordinary judgment of the Supreme Court, which protected democratic values, ​ is a relief to the crores of people who have faith in democracy. In the judgment, the apex court specifically emphasized that democracy will not be allowed to be subverted.

Aam Aadmi Party and Congress had fielded a common candidate in the Chandigarh mayoral election. AAP has 13 members and Congress has seven members in the 35-member municipal council. BJP has only 14 members. Akali Dal, a former ally of the BJP, has one member. Chandigarh MP also has the right to vote. If polling is conducted honestly, AAP candidate Kuldeep Kumar should win by getting 20 votes. However, the Presiding Officer declared BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar, who got 16 votes, as the winner. The shortcut he found for this was the act of nullifying eight votes. The Presiding Officer is a BJP leader. He played a low-level game of nullifying the people as a whole for his own party.

By catching this fraud red-handed, cancelling the result and declaring the Aam Aadmi candidate as the Mayor, the Supreme Court bench presided by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud fulfilled the role of guardian of democracy. This is a verdict that once again convinces the people that the country has a legal system that works based on the sense of justice and honesty regardless of the preferences of the ruling party at the Centre.

At the same time, it cannot be said that democracy has completely won in Chandigarh. BJP has managed to snatch three AAP members after the mayoral election. So if there is a no-confidence motion, Aam Aadmi's mayor will fall. The Representation of the People Act should be amended in such a way as to allow the people to re-vote in a way that would allow them to recall those who have won by contesting from one party and later defected to another party. Only then will such horse-trading end forever.

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