Hooda for giving more teeth to Anti-Defection Law

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Chandigarh, Sep 23 (UNI) Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda today stressed the need for giving more teeth to the Anti-defection Law to meet requirements of the changing scenario.

The Chief Minister was delivering his inaugural address at a symposium on ''Anti-Defection Law-Need for Review'' organised as part of the 73rd Conference of Presiding Officers of Legislative Bodies in India at Haryana Vidhan Sabha here.

''Defection is betrayal of trust reposed by the people. It is unfortunate that repeated acts of defection in the past have tarnished the image of our country,'' he added.

Mr Hooda suggested that with a view to curbing the evil of defection effectively, there should be an express provision for a suomotu initiation of action by the Speaker against the errant member.

He said the 10th Schedule exempted from the purview of disqualification the cases of splits and mergers. ''This blanket exemption to splits and mergers is frustrating the very purpose of Anti-Defection Law. It does not give any authoritative judicial guidance about the true interpretation of provisions relating to mergers, the correct meaning of expressions like Legislature Party, Political Party, Original Political Party,'' he underlined.

Mr Hooda pointed out that only legislators who could afford to vote without much fear of disqualification are independents, and in tightly balanced legislatures, their support become a key factor.

''It is to obtain this support that parties now engage in a sort of trading,'' he noted.

The Anti-Defection Law should be amended to check such tendencies, he said.


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