For ordinary citizens, coalition governance has lead to non-governance in the country. Most of the time Central Government remains busy in keeping its flock together through appeasement in the form of ministerial berths, revoking professed policies or deferring justifiable harsh action. Even the smallest group in the coalition can threaten the stability of the government. Many times Government had to waste public money on special aircrafts to ferry one MP to avoid collapse of the government on crucial issues.
The situation remains to be dim. Nobody wants to work. Every institution appears to be infested with corruption and inefficiency. They exist without performing their primary service. Examples are endless. There are schools and colleges without teaching and hospitals without treatment. Police protection is not available to ordinary citizens since it remains preoccupied with protecting politicians or remains continuously engaged in ‘bandobast’ to face agitational activities of politicians. Even ordinary civic amenities like supply of water and electricity are becoming scarce or polluted in cities although citizens pay for such services. Condition of villages is worse.
While politics has emerged as a lucrative profession, democracy is turning out to be a costly luxury for the taxpayers. In sharp contrast to government employees who earn a pension after putting in a long service, membership of a legislative house even for incomplete term entitles a life-long handsome pension with bag-full of other benefits. Over and above they have an unlimited authority to decide and enhance their own pay and perks. The citizens have a right to demand that political parties must include proposed pay hikes in election manifesto to seek public mandate before enjoying the same. As a Constitutional safeguard, Supreme Court must review the self-bestowed benefits of legislatures.
Politics has become the past time of certain families and vested groups who frequently regroup under various pretexts to grab political power. Many of our so-called leaders are the creations of media and are sponsored by Mafias. Most of them are dissidents on some personal grudges and lead factions based upon caste and region. Switching parties is their survival. Regionalism is overshadowing the National priorities and unity of the Country.
Candidates are elected to legislative forums to represent the voters during proceedings but the empty benches and thin attendance during sessions reflect their indifference to duty. Their effort is spent to disrupt the business of the house. There is no one to question as to why elected members are absent during the proceedings of the house and do not discuss the issues in a democratic manner to justify the expenses the voters have to bear upon them? Equally pertinent is to ask why do chairpersons and speakers remain helpless towards unruly behavior of members.
Instable Non-performing Governments
Due to coalition politics issue of stability of the governments at the center is of highest priority. Some time ago, it was being suggested that the life of parliament and legislatures be fixed for five years to avoid mid-term polls. In case the Government is defeated the existing members may elect a new leader in the house. But if such a suggestion is accepted it will lead to more corruption. Members will be free to swap their alliance partners as frequently as beneficial to their person without any fear of facing the electorate. Effective method is that a defector should not be allowed to re-contest whatever be his justification for switching party.
Alliances must be pre-poll
For ensuring stability, alliances should be pre-poll and for full term of the house. Assurance to this effect should be given to the President and the Governor, as the case may be, before any Government is formed. Changing of sides thereafter, singly or collectively should require the swappers to resign. The fear of re- election and rejection by public shall deter the defectors and provide stability.
Democracy without discipline, responsibility and awareness will lead to chaos. People want good governance and not an opportunity to vote every five years in the name of democracy.
Chand K Sharma