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Lapses in polity

Lapses in polity

Much to the disappointment of the Kamal Nath government, the SC-mandated floor test on March 20, despite public health emergency in the country, takes precedence for a democratic government cannot hang in administrative limbo. With the state opposition in BJP absolutely enraged over the deferment of trust vote which was scheduled to be held on March 17, the top court has paved way for a settlement of the issue through a trust vote today which will also be video-recorded. By 5 in the evening, whether or not the Congress government in Madhya Pradesh holds the majority, would be clear. The quagmire inflicted in the state due to Jyotiraditya Scindia's historic switch has indeed given rise to the unholy practice of horse-trading of MLAs. Much to everyone's notice, the flocking of MLAs to Rajasthan and Karnataka was ample evidence of a precariously held Congress government at the verge of collapse following little more than a year of tenure. Jyotiraditya's change of party outfit is not illegal or unconstitutional but it definitely exposes the fault in our democracy. There have been several instances where elected state governments have collapsed courtesy of party defections and switches done in pursuance of vested political interests. The point is that this chain of events where a fraction of MLAs resign and the government falls only to see the opposition show up numbers and stake claim is not new. Should Kamal Nath's government perish today, the Court would have done its duty to sort out the administrative quagmire but people's mandate would get a tight slap. If Congress fails the trust vote, there is a high probability of BJP staking claim to the government. Should BJP end up forming the government, it would be the exact opposite of what the state had evidently decided back in 2018 Assembly elections. While it may not be completely fair to public mandate, it is all legal and fair as far as India's polity is concerned. The disruptive wave impending upon Congress today was engineered by a person who failed to win his seat in the Assembly polls. Yet, by sheer strength of influence, he could destabilise the government.

The MP political crisis is as much an issue for the Congress as it is for the Indian polity itself. While the former has to re-evaluate its party cadres, the latter has to bridge the gap created between democratic processes and public mandate. There is no saying that a similar case might not happen in elected governments of Chhattisgarh or Rajasthan. It happened in Karnataka and MP has also come close to a similar fate. Trust vote might be the most democratic activity in such a situation but it clearly does not present itself as a fair expression of people's mandate.

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