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Vanishing values in legislative houses

Vanishing values in legislative housesVanishing values in legislative houses
Highlights

Poaching of MLAs has become trending in political circles. We have seen how the Telangana Rashtra Samithi...

Poaching of MLAs has become trending in political circles. We have seen how the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) had poached Telugu Desam Party (TDP) MLAs in its first term and how it is now in the process of decimating the Congress.

In Andhra Pradesh, the TDP too did the same thing. The Congress-JDS coalition government, since inception, has been spending more time in ensuring that the government survives and now the imbroglio seems to have reached a new peak.

The Congress blames the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) for poaching its MLAs and trying to pull down the government. The BJP says that it is the holiest of all and what is happening now is nothing but reflection of the internal problems of the Congress which has become rudderless.

Social media as well as other media also restricts itself to analysing the political conditions and reasons for the situation and concentrates more on what the Speaker is doing and also gives advice as to what he ought to do. While some say that such acts by the BJP would dent its image, others say that since the Congress was in limbo for over 50 days, the Karnataka has plunged into such a deep crisis.

No one seems to be thinking beyond this. Niccolo Machiavelli, who is known as the father of modern political science remarked, "Politics have no relation to morals". And this really reflects the present-day political scenario. No one even vaguely refers to the legislators who are ready to trade their loyalty in exchange of lucre. They should be held accountable for their fickle fidelity. The Karnataka imbroglio is symptomatic of the triumph of avarice over integrity.

Such situations in the past used to raise many an eyebrow. But now the common man seems to have come to the conclusion that politicos do not possess high moral values and horse trading has become a common phenomenon irrespective of which party is in power. No one is or can be a holy cow. Only the names change. One calls it Operation Akarsh and the other Operation Kamal or Lotus.

No wonder the quality of debates and discussions too has touched a new low. There was a time when the rules and conventions used to be on the fingertips of the people's representatives. In case any discussion on rules and procedures arose, the members used to advise the Chair by quoting the rules and conventions with solid examples.

The Chair also used to be ready with the rule book and relevant clauses and the issue used to get resolved faster. But now it appears that whoever the Speaker is, he gets guided more by what the Chief Minister says and not by the rules, procedures and practices.

The general practice in any legislative body whether it is Parliament or the State Assemblies is to seek clarification on important issues after the Prime Minister or Minister or the Chief Minister replies. But we are now seeing situations where the Chief Ministers are coming with new arguments that once the reply is over, no one should be allowed to speak on it and some Speakers are agreeing with this stand.

It is time the political analysts and the senior leaders of all political parties focussed their attention on ensuring that the lost image of the leaders is restored by strictly implementing the rules, regulations and procedures and stop the menace of poaching of members from other parties. From the Prime Minister down to the youngest parliamentarian speak about the need for political reforms. Why not start reforms from here? All those who stand by values need to ponder over.

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