Venkaiah Naidu says anti-defection law has loopholestext_fields
Bengaluru: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu said that the anti-defection law has loopholes and requires amendments to make it effective, PTI reported.
Delivering a lecture on Sunday on "Media's role in New India" at the Bengaluru Press Club, he said that currently, the law allows "wholesale defection but not retail defection". Therefore, people try to mobilise numbers, he said.
The VP said that elected representatives must resign and re-elect before joining another party than defecting.
Further, he expressed his displeasure over the speakers, chairpersons and the courts dragging the anti-defection cases for years. While the chairmen and speakers are vested with powers to decide on defection, they are not effectively dealing with such cases most of the time, Naidu said. He added that sometimes, the courts also make decisions after the tenure of an elected representative has ended.
There has to be clarity in the law, and there should be a timeline for the presiding officer or the speakers, including the courts, that it (defection) should be decided within six months maximum. I personally feel that it can be decided in three months. I have disposed of such cases," Naidu said.
Later, in view of April 24, the Panchayat Raj Day, Naidu said that local bodies need to be strengthened since they are part of the three-tier government of India. He appealed to the citizens and leaders of this country to reinforce those pillars of democracy and added funds, functions, and functionaries should be transferred to them.
Then he said that media also have a role in strengthening democracy by reaching out to the people's aspirations and developmental goals of the government. He said that media give people information, and "information with confirmation is more than ammunition".
He deplored that now "obstructive and destructive reports' occupy space in media instead of "constructive ones" and called for unbiased and faithful journalism.
To the media, he said, "Institutions must be respected. You are not dealing with a person, you are dealing with a chief minister, leader of the opposition, Prime Minister, or Governor. This has to be kept in mind. If they go wrong, then you have got every right to criticise, but you should not undermine the institution,"
Lamenting the disturbances in Parliament and Assemblies, Naidu said there is an erosion of values in public life. He urged political parties to have a code of conduct for their members.