Dilemma Of Karnataka Politics & Anti-Defection Law

By moderator July 9, 2019 17:21

Recently, after almost a year of false alarms, a total of 12 legislators from both Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) or JD(S) handed in their resignations, threatening to send the state into a political crisis. Read this article to know more about Anti-Defection Law.


  • The JD(S)-Congress coalition’s total strength in the state assembly is 118 –Congress 78, JD(S) 37, BSP one and two Independents, besides the speaker.
  • The BJP has 105 MLAs in the House, where the half-way mark is 113. If the resignations are accepted, the coalition’s tally will come down to 105.
  • Another Independent lawmaker quit and pledged support to the BJP, taking the total number of resignations since last week to 15.


What is the Issue?


Ø Former JD(S) State president states that the coalition government has failed in fulfilling the aspirations of the people of the state.

Ø Whereas there are also allegations on the opposition for engineering dissent and destabilizing the government to settle personal scores. Although, the opposition has denied any role in luring the MLAs.

Ø However, to some extent, it can be said that it is a power struggle between the ruling party and opposition.

Karnataka government to go legally Ø State Govt. may petition the Speaker seeking disqualification of the rebel MLAs under Tenth Schedule of the Constitution for defection-

  • If opposition lures about the minister post.
  • Or allegations of ‘Horse trading’ of MLAs by the opposition.
What Law states Ø The law allows a person to be sworn in as Minister and provides six months for the person to be elected to either of the Houses.

Ø Else if the MLAs are disqualified for defection, they cannot become Ministers in the alternate BJP government till they are successfully elected as legislators.

Ø Section 164 (1) (B) of the Constitution stipulates that a member disqualified under Tenth Schedule cannot be appointed Minister till the date on which the term of his office as such member would expire or till the person is elected to either of the Houses, whichever is earlier.

About Anti-defection law Ø The 52nd amendment to the Constitution added the Tenth Schedule which laid down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection.


·        A Member of Parliament or state legislature was deemed to have defected if he either voluntarily resigned from his party or disobeyed the directives of the party leadership on a vote.

·        Independent members would be disqualified if they joined a political party.

·        Nominated members who were not members of a party could choose to join a party within six months; after that period, they were treated as a party member or independent member.

·        A party could be merged into another if at least two-thirds of its party legislators voted for the merger

Example- In Sept. 2018, AIADMK MLAs were disqualified under the anti-defection law after they met the governor and further expressed a loss of confidence in Chief Minister Palaniswami of Tamil Nadu.

PastJudgements Ø The Supreme Court in the past has passed rulings on what constitutes “voluntarily” giving up membership of a party and also what is the meaning of voting or abstaining against party’s express directive.

Ø In Ravi Naik vs Union of India case, the SC ruled that “the words ‘voluntarily gives up his membership’ are not synonymous with ‘resignation’ and have a wider connotation. A person may voluntarily give up his membership of a political party even though he has not tendered his resignation from the membership of that party.”

Ø In another judgment, the Supreme Court held if an MLA of a party gives a letter to the Governor extending his or her support to the leader from across the political aisle to form a government, the said member would be considered to have given up membership “voluntarily”.

Ø So, if any of the Congress or JD (S) MLAs gives a letter of support to or votes in favor of opposition during the floor test, the member would be liable for defection. But then the Speaker will decide whether the member in question is punishable under the Anti-defection law or not.

What if the governor accepted the resignation Ø The parties in power will lose the confidence of the House then the dissolutions of Assemblies would be ordered on that ground.

Ø Further, the opposition can form a majority government.


Way forward:

To sum up, it can be said that luring MLAs, horse-trading or any other anti-democratic move will be against the public will. Further, Gandhi’s thoughts to serve the last person of the queue will need the government of people’s choice not of political party interest.

Also Read: J&K: The First State to Bring Law Against Sextortion

Law Commission of India-What is Law Commission of India?

By moderator July 9, 2019 17:21