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CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTIONS AND CITIZENS' RIGHTSAn Omnibus Comprising Constitutional Questions in India and Citizens' Rights, Judges and State Accountability$
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A. G. Noorani

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195678291

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195678291.001.0001

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Defections (1967–1997) 1

Defections (1967–1997) 1

(p.173) 27 Defections (1967–1997)1

A.G. Noorani

Oxford University Press

This chapter stresses the need to reform the anti-defection law in India. It describes the case of Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh, who rewarded all the thirty-seven Members of the Legislative Assembly who defected to his party with positions in his council of ministers. It provides statistics on political defection from 1967 to 1997, showing that the provision of the law on splits has been much abused. Under the said provision an individual who defect will be committing an illegal act while those who defect in a group of one-third cannot be held accountable for any illegality. The chapter suggests that the problem can be resolved by making more explicit the requirement of a prior split openly arrived at in the original political party and by barring all who split from public office for a year.

Keywords:   anti-defection law, India, Kalyan Singh, Members of the Legislative Assembly, council of ministers, political defection, splits provision, political party, public office

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