13 May, 2021

Slip Through The Loopholes

As events in four states show, the anti-defection law isn’t effective. It needs a major overhaul.

Former Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat after the assembly floor test on May 10
Photograph by AP
Slip Through The Loopholes
  • In Telangana: Out of 15 elected MLAs of TDP, 12 have already joined the ruling party, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti
  • In Andhra Pradesh: 16 MLAs from the YSR Congress have switched sides and joined the ruling Telugu Desam Party
  • The Demand: The anti-defection law has failed to stop defections. Jurists think it’s time to review and rejig the law.


The anti-defection law, late parliamentarian Madhu Lim­aye had complained, while legalising ‘wholesale defection’, had stopped short of preventing ‘retail defections’. Events in Uttarakhand over the past few weeks, Arunachal Pradesh earlier this year and in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana prior to that indicate that his apprehensions were not misplaced.

The day before the Supreme Court-monitored floor test was conducted in the Uttarakhand assembly on May 10, Congress MLA Rekha Arya was found missing from Mussoorie, where all Congress MLAs were herded...

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