MUMBAI, June 17 (PTI): With defections of legislators rattling political parties, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot and other leaders on Saturday said horse-trading undermined the very essence of democracy and should not be encouraged.
Addressing the National Legislators’ Conference here, Gehlot, who is facing dissent from party colleague Sachin Pilot, said horse-trading should be a matter of concern not only for any single party but for everyone.
“Many a time people become greedy and change the party. This should not happen. It sends a wrong signal to the youth,” Gehlot said in a virtual address to the conference.
“We are not enemies of the opposition in a democracy. But it is important for us to remain committed to our ideology and never ever think of changing parties,” he said.
Former vice president M Venkaiah Naidu also voiced concern over the anti-defection law and said legislators should resign first if they want to change their political allegiance.
Naidu also called for review of the anti-defection law as many of its provisions have outlived their utility.
“If you have to leave the party, you should resign and join the party of your choice. This way, the anti-defection law has to be revisited,” he said.
Naidu said that if a leader becomes authoritarian, a way to remove him is by majority.
“But now there is a need to re-visit the anti-defection law and think of an alternative,” he said.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan also called for scrapping the anti-defection law and take corrective measures on the principle of the separation of powers as spelt out in the Constitution.
“The executive has become all the more powerful, hence it has become necessary to re-visit the separation of powers. There is also a need to strengthen the legislatures a bit,” Chavan said.