Enforce 'Inner-party Elections' in political parties to elect leadership & candidates
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Primacy of ‘Inner-party Elections’ in political parties to get persons of desirable quality as our elected representatives.
We are approaching another General election to elect our representatives to govern us for next 5 years. Ugly squabbling for a nomination as a candidate and unethical coalition manipulations aiming government formation are being bare every day.
But most of us, apolitical voters are concerned about the ever degrading quality of persons getting nominated as candidates of different political parties, use of muzzle/money power to grab votes and getting elected as our representatives/MPs.
Dr. Rajendraprasad's words, reportedly said while dedicating our Constitution to the nation, ‘if our elected representatives are (competent) men of integrity and character they can deliver good to the society even if this constitution is defective. But if they are lacking in these (virtuous) qualities, this constitution is not going to help our nation', unequivocally states impact of quality of elected representative on governance and deliverance.
Unfortunately our constitution framers somehow did not incorporate safeguards to restrict persons of undesirable qualities getting nominated as candidates and getting elected as our representatives. Hence the opportunistic politicians started to exploit this vacuum in our otherwise bulk constitution. Concerned with the ensuing degradation of quality of our elected representatives, hence of the representative bodies and governance, many activists had been proposing electoral reforms to arrest the degradation and improve their quality. But all such reform thoughts, debates and proposals start-and-end at electoral reforms; or on corruption/anti-corruption agendas. But we have to understand that general elections are just the culmination of a series of political procedures.
- If we are to elect persons of desirable qualities as our representative we should have persons with such virtuous qualities as our candidates.
- Political parties nominate their candidates from their leadership hierarchies.
- How can a party nominate persons of virtuous qualities if their leadership hierarchies lack persons of desirable qualities are full of corrupt lackeys and sycophants of one or the other individual or dynasty or caucus?
Our political parties have degraded to such low levels that any gentle men with integrity abhor to get identified with any political party. Now the question is how all our parties got filled up with such vicious tribe of persons?
Belief in democracy is a must for the success of a democracy. Democracy has its own inbuilt self cleaning and rejuvenating mechanism. Most basic of this mechanism is uncompromising and transparent practice ‘inner-party election’ in political parties to build their leadership hierarchies with most competent persons. In the fierce contest for positions of political power most competent only get elected and promoted through leadership hierarchies, while not so competent are pushed aside.
Though inner-party election procedures are well defined in the bylaws of all political parties, political parties refuse to practice ‘inner-party elections' to build their leadership. Instead the reigning caucuses/dynasties of our political parties and their lackeys expropriate all positions of political power/leadership in their parties through undemocratic nominations from top to bottom.
Such nominations, negation of competition and election, encourage lackey-ism, sycophancy, nepotism and the dynasty-ism. It discourage and purge any one showing a grain of integrity and character causing 'Character-crisis' in leadership hierarchies of our political parties - that is a complete dominance of the leadership positions by the inept and tainted persons and a near lack of competent men of integrity and character. That is an ‘AIDS’ like affliction on our society, with potential to corrupt all elements of our society and to aggravate effects of all other flaws of our political system and of the diversities of our society. We believe that addressing this phenomenon, the negatio is of pre-eminence for success of any other reform efforts.
‘Inner-party elections’ procedures are well defined in the by-laws of political parties, especially of INC and BJP. Hence it is just asking them to practice what they preach, what they are bound to do by their own constitution. Hence it would be easy goal.
Election Commission, the constitutional functionary authorized to register and regulate political parties, declare: “The Commission determines whether the party is structured and committed to principles of democracy. … ensures inner party democracy in their functioning by insisting upon them to hold their organizational elections at periodic intervals". But it is not doing its duty faithfully to monitor if political parties are really conducting elections. That too despite repeated petitions by 'Great India Trust', since 1999, complaining that the parties do not hold proper internal-elections, that they are concocting fake records of election while they, the reigning caucuses, indulge in undemocratic nominations to expropriate positions of political power for themselves and their lackeys. They anticipating tacit support of political bosses, even disregarding President Sri. Pranab Mukherji’s advisory, never bothered to act-up-on or respond-to my repeated petitions.
I wish, with your association, our efforts to compel Election Commission to do their duty of enforcing and monitoring Inner-party elections in political parties can be achieved earlier.
Hoping, with your support, to make our political parties strong and truly democratic with hundreds of competent and virtuous leaders gentlemanly contesting for higher positions in their parties and from their to governments to lead our society to a strong and prosperous nation.
We identify two more damaging flaws in our political system. They are:
- Cancerous proliferation of political parties which create highly fragment election results/representative bodies, compulsion for coalition politics, increase of dis-integrative forces of communal/ religious/ regional and all other hues driving wedges deeper into our inherent diversities.
- Indirect election of chief executives of governments -PM, CMs to Panchayat Presidents, which make those important positions susceptible to coercion by pressure groups and more..
But those are constitutionally sanctioned flaws, hence need constitutional amendments to make any change. With present tribe of politicians, exploiters and beneficiaries of those flaws, dreaming of their support for such a change is futile and wishful.
Hence we request you to sign the petition given bellow and support this issue of purely national and public interest.
Sudhakaran, Great IndIa Trust.
Submitted to Election Commission of India, by Sudhakaran Cheravattail, Secretary, ‘Great India Trust’, Narayanamangalam, P.O. Pullut – 680663, Kerala.
Sub: Enforcement of transparent Inner-party elections in political parties
Ref: 1- Your letter F.No. 56/Misc/2014/PPS-II/180 & 417 dated13th & 24th Jan 2014.
2- My last four letters from 2002 to 2010 & RTI letter of 2014
We are, as the general public as a whole is, greatly concerned by the grave degradation of the quality of our political leadership - leadership hierarchies of our political parties. Quality of the leadership hierarchies of political parties directly effect quality of our elected representatives as political parties nominate persons from their leadership as their candidates for elections to representative bodies. Hence the dominance of corrupt and criminals in our political leadership becomes the leading cause of increase in political corruption and criminalization of our elected representatives and the governments.
Recent (25/09/2018) judgment by the Supreme Court has highlighted incidence of criminals and corrupt being nominated by political parties as their candidates for elections to our representative bodies and they getting elected as our representatives in parliaments, state legislative bodies, LSG bodies. Government of India too has admitted it through an affidavit in the Court. Many studies and reports by agencies and NGOs had been raising this issue for long.
Quality of our elected representatives directly effects quality of governance and deliverance. Dr. Rajendraprasad, while dedicating our constitution to the nation in 1948 had said: “if our elected representatives are (competent) men of integrity and character they can deliver good to the society even this constitution is defective. But if they lack in these (virtuous) qualities this constitution is not going to save our nation/society”. Unfortunately men in our constituent assembly had failed to incorporate means and regulations to ensure quality of our elected representatives.
But as the Constitutions of our political parties, especially those of Congress, BJP and their off shoots clearly define ‘Inner-party democratic practice’ to be followed in the elections to their leadership hierarchies , as Election Commission being the authority to register the political parties and as the Commission declares that: “The Commission determines whether the party is structured and committed to principles of democracy …. The Commission ensures inner party democracy in their functioning by insisting upon them to hold their organizational elections at periodic intervals”, the commission is obliged to fulfill their authorized and declared duty of ensuring that our political parties are structured and committed to principles of democracy. Build up of the leadership hierarchy of a political party is the most important part of its structure. So Commission has the obligation to ensure that the inner party elections of the political parties, process of electing their leadership hierarchies, the most important function in creating the structure of political parties, are conducted in true inner party democratic values. Unfortunately, for whatever reasons, commission had been abdicating their duty and authority. Commission, colluding with the reigning leadership caucuses of political parties, had been turning a blind eye towards the flagrant negation of inner party elections and accepting prescribed declarations by these caucuses that they have conducted such elections, even though theses caucuses had been resorting in to undemocratic nominations and consensus to expropriate positions of political power between themselves, their lackeys and sycophants.
And we, representing the concerned citizens of India, have been complaining that:
1. In fact our Political parties are not conducting inner-party elections as defined in their constitution. Yet they submit to Commission concocted records to show that they have conducted elections or declarations to that effect.
2. The reigning caucuses and their lackeys are expropriating positions of political power in the concerned parties (and through them in the governments too) by ‘Negating Inner-party democracy’ and substituting it with undemocratic practice of ‘Nominations or forcing consensus’..
3. Such undemocratic practices deny us, we who refuse to be lackeys and sycophants of the reigning caucus, our democratic right to aspire and to contest for a position of political power in a party of one’s choice.
4. Nepotism, sycophancy and lackey-ism are promoted by denial of competition and election, and it cause ‘Character-crisis’, an abject lack of persons of integrity and character, and a dominance by corrupt, criminal, egocentric persons with inferior ethos in the leadership hierarchies of our political parties.
5. It also breeds group-ism, splits and dynastic tendencies in political parties.
· True to the adage ‘Yedha Raja Thadha Praja’ such inferior political leaderships of undesirable ethos are polluting the psych and eroding the ethos of the society and its institutions (including the Election Commission and Judiciary to the common man) causing widespread growth of corruption, criminality, communalism, intolerance etc;
· Our society’s progress to its potential is also being denied by inefficient governance and mismanagement by such politicians.
News about such negation of inner-party elections, expropriation of positions of power by the reigning caucuses, doling important positions out to their near and dear ones and remaining to their lackeys, ensuing bickering in political parties and even sale of party tickets for elections and Rajya Sabah seats too are frequently reported in the media and admitted by many political leaders and officials. Even a former CEC, Mr. Lingdho, and a state GDP had publically lamented about the undesirable qualities of political leadership. Many studies by national & International organizations have confirmed it. I had dealt them in detail in my letter to the Commission since 2002 through 31-8-2010.
Even Registrars of societies are sending its representatives to monitor elections in the NGOs registered with it, if & when any complaint is lodged to it on misconducts in such election. Elections to the political party leaderships, and the quality of persons so elected are much more important than elections in an NGO; it is of paramount importance to the quality of governance, national security-&-integrity and progress of the society and Nation.
Yet, my humble question is, why Election Commission stay content with just taking a declaration/report, from the political parties that they are conducting elections according to the inner-party democratic standards, that too even after my repeated complaints all through last 15 years? Why Commission refuse to actively monitor the conduct of such elections? If the political parties do not believe in, and behave according to principles of democracy how can we allow them to participate in the most important and basic democratic processes of our society – elections to our representative bodies? How can we expect governments formed by such politicians govern us democratically?
*** Is it the way Commission determines whether our political parties are structured and committed to principles of democracy and ensures inner party democracy in their functioning? Being a statutory authority with judicial powers, the Commission has the power to monitor and enforce the inner-party elections in all the political parties registered with it. Commission’s refusal to monitor and enforce inner-party elections, after knowing that political parties are blatantly negating it and are resorting to undemocratic practices to expropriate positions of political power, is nothing short of abdication of its declared authority and duty, cheating the nation, blatant corruption of a different kind, ineptitude and favoritism to the political bosses. Few of the commissioners in the past had shown that they can withstand political pressure and brought few desired reforms in the elections and functioning of parties.
I request the Commission, purely on the national interest, sans any personal agenda - in the changed environment of renewed awareness on the need for political reforms to reform India, after suggestion for a simultaneous elections to Parliament and Assemblies, repeatedly raised by the Prime Minister and supported by the President - to favourablly reconsider our long pending prayer to enforce and monitor periodical inner-party-democratic elections in a transparent way to produce a more competent and fairly virtuous political leadership to the nation and society to lead us to a ‘Greater India’ true to our rich history and potentials.
With Regards and expecting an earliest action in the national interest,
Secretary, Great India Trust
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