Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said the time has come to amend the anti-defection legislation in the country to plug existing loopholes.
“There are certain loopholes in the anti defection law. It allows wholesale defection. But retail defection is not allowed. Amendments are required to plug the loopholes,” Mr. Naidu said speaking on the ‘Media’s role in new India,’ organised here by the Press Club of Bangalore.
Stating that there is no clarity in the law about the timeframe for the action of the House Chairperson or Speaker in the anti-defection cases, he said: “Some cases are taking six months and some even three years. There are cases that are disposed off after the term is over. I personally believe that these anti-defection cases can be disposed of in three months.” It is also the dharma of politicians and a requirement as per Constitution to leave the post that they are holding when they change parties, he said.
Referring to the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha, he said: “I also get disgusted with the proceedings in Rajya Sabha sometimes. Wonderful debates do take place. Unfortunately, when things change, good speeches that help contrubute to the legislative making do not happen.” He also lamented that political parties starting media outlets were weakening the democracy.
According to him, sometimes the decision is made even by the courts after the tenure is over.
Mr. Naidu said that he had sought some kind of a regulation on social media. “It is not censorship. But at a time of hartredness and religious tension, parliament has to seriously view the issue and come out with certain regulations. I have spoken about the need for regulation in Parliament too.” He also said that the political parties should lay down certain conduct to be followed and members of the parties should follow them. The Vice-President also pointed out that the character, capacity, calibre and conduct that is the hallmark of politics has been replaced with caste, community, cash and communalism.
Referring to the Panchayat Raj Diwas observed on Sunday, Mr. Naidu appealed to the State governments to strengthen the local bodies that will enable strengthening of democracy in the country.