VOTER IS KING DECORUM IS HIS DEMAND: Shantonu Sen
Indian voter is politically maturing and the politicians better get the message .The question whether we have a Constitution that is unitary or a federal in structure is also receiving an answer. The perception used to be that while we have federal features incorporated in the Constitution, any time the unitary character of the Constitution can show up and dominate it. This happened when in 1977 the late Charan singh became the Home Minister. He assumed that he was authorized to dismiss all existing State Ministries as the people of India had swept his Janata Party to power in the Centre. He confidently conferred on himself , on the vote which had elected Janata Party to form a government , the authority to speak for the people of the States. Seven or more State Ministries were put to the sword on one night of slaughter.
It took intervention by the judiciary to lay down deterrents that have, since, effectively, stopped such audacious exercises of dismissing State Government by a dictatorial Centre. The latter now knows its limitations. What the people of a State have willed themselves only they can will it away. They do so by voting when the time comes to exercise that right. The exercise is precious – and this exercise of right to vote is not transferable. No one, be he so high, no Constitutional Authority can exercise that right on his behalf. The States are independent to determine whom they elect as their ruler.
The Indian when he votes on issues of his State he casts his vote in the interest of his State .He acts, similarly, when he votes on issues that affect the Central Government. That these two votes can be different has been most dramatically demonstrated . All the seven Parliamentary seats in Delhi went to BJP in the General Elections in 2014. But in the State Elections the same voter, within six months gave BJP only three out of seventy, voting the AAP Party to power with the all of remaining sixty seven seats going the AAP way. Now in November 2015 , in Bihar, the voter has cast his vote similarly. In the General Election 2014 this Bihar packed the Parliament with BJP members. Come State election the same Bihari sent most of the BJP candidates packing. This reflects the Indian voter’s federal mind set as nothing else can. This is how the Constitution of India has to be read and understood.
The political map of India actually, reflects this. The regional parties run the States by and large. Kashmir, Punjab ,Delhi, Bihar, West Bengal, Orrissa , Sikkim, Andhra, Telengana, Tamil Naidu are all governed by regional parties. Even other States where national parties are in power whether its Tripura or Karnataka or Goa or Arunachal Pradesh the leaders are State satraps. The exceptions, Gujerat , Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan ,Kerala and Assam where national Parties are in power there are either no strong regional parties or the strong regional party ( like Assam Gana Parishad) is discredited. The rule of the thumb is that the voter is thinking differently when he casts his vote in the State and General Elections respectively.
It is no longer just to argue that the vote in the State is a referendum on the Centre or vice versa? BJP “ Margdarshak Mandli” have just no case to suggest a different campaign would have altered the situation to BJP’s advantage. Despite spending copiously the BJP in ,Delhi and Bihar, made little impact in the State Assembly and the AAP, in Delhi failed to enter the Parliament and Nitish Lalu and Rahul lost the Bihar Parliamentary elections. The voter is King. He has matured to decide, for now, that this is the democracy he shall have. This voter must be respected. Decorum must return to our legislature.
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