ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Sabotage of Anti-defection Law in Telangana

Exploiting a loophole in India's constitutional anti-defection provisions, Talasani Srinivas Yadav, a Member of the Legislative Assembly in Telangana, has been serving as minister in the state cabinet for more than six months without having to be re-elected. Narrating how things came to such a pass, this article revisits the need to amend the members' disqualification procedure and rules.

Talasani Srinivas Yadav, a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) in Telangana, is serving in the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) cabinet as commercial taxes and cinematography minister since 16 December 2014. This unethical continuance of Yadav in the TRS cabinet for more than six months, without disqualification from the assembly, questions the very viability of the anti-defection law in India.

This development reminds us how Mulayam Singh Yadav, who came to power in Uttar Pradesh in 2003, formed a jumbo cabinet of 98 ministers that included defectors from different parties (Tribune 2003). In Telangana’s case, the minister who defected, the chief minister who mentored the defection, the governor who administered the oath of the defector and the assembly speaker who has been protecting the defector have acted against the very spirit of the anti-defection law. Moreover, this sabotage is taking place with the help of provisions of the anti-defection law, which are provided in the Constitution itself. Such repeat of history is a reminder of the need to make amendments in the anti-defection law to regulate the members’ disqualification process—the major loophole in the present anti-defection law.

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