What do you mean by Inner Party Democracy? Is it a mandatory requirement? Does it enhance the democratic values of our country? Scroll down the page to know more about inner-party democracy.
The debate over the requirement of internal elections within the political parties is revived now.
Knowing what political parties are, is essential to understanding their inner workings.
More on Political parties
Despite being extra-constitutional, political parties in India are essential to the functioning of the political system.
The Representation of the People Act, 1951 (RPA), Section 29A (5), is India’s sole significant statutory provision that addresses political parties.
Based on their performance in polls, the Election Commission recognises political parties as national or state parties and registers them for electoral purposes. Simply put, the remaining parties are listed as registered but unrecognised parties.
Coming to our topic, what do you mean by Inner-Party democracy?
Inner Party Democracy
The Indian Constitution does not have any explicit clauses outlining rules for controlling the behaviour of political parties there.
Only Section 29 (A) of the RPA, 1951 requires political parties to be registered. Accordingly, political parties must notify the ECI of any changes to their office holders or addresses.
The courts have noted that neither Article 324 of the Constitution nor Section 29(A) of the RPA, 1951, explicitly state that the ECI may control the internal organisations, structures, or elections of the party.
The ECI does not contest the outcome or the process that the parties followed and expects political parties to adhere to their constitution. As a result, very little information regarding internal elections is provided to the Election Commission by the parties.
Negative Consequences of Inner Party Democracy
- Politics of dynasties: Dynastic politics have become the norm and political parties are increasingly controlled by families. This is an outcome of the lack of internal party democracy.” Family” constituencies have emerged as a result of top party officials running their kids, daughters, and nephews in the elections.
- Increasing nepotism: Dynasty politics govern election ticket distribution. As a result, many MPs come from political families, especially those under the age of 35.
- Selection of ineffective candidates: The parties’ centralised and unclear working style has made the candidate selection process less transparent. Because of this, the party leader’s favourite gets elevated above other qualified leaders, regardless of their qualifications or experience.
- Splitting up within parties: Numerous factions have developed inside parties as a result of dissatisfaction with nepotism and a lack of opportunities for advancement. This has had major repercussions on the country’s parliamentary democracy’s ability to operate effectively.
- Illegal Politics: Tickets are distributed based on the nebulous concept of winnability, and a competitive multi-party election process requires significant financial resources. This makes it possible for candidates with resources and political clout to compete.
- Youth alienation from politics: Internal elections are essential for career advancement. The lack of it, combined with other elements like persistent corruption, is driving young people away from politics.
- Male predominance: Though nearly all political parties have made an effort to create organisations for women in order to win their support, patriarchal systems still predominate in the bigger party structures. As a result, there are still few women in politics.
- Absence of responsibility: Collectives of interests make up political parties. Candidates for leadership positions have the opportunity to critique the policies of their own party and offer improvements and substitutes in leadership polls. Without this platform, party policies are no longer responsible
Solutions for reducing the negative impacts of Inner Party Politics
In order to achieve an effective relationship between the members of a political party certain steps can be taken.
170th Report (1999) of the Law Commission of India
- An entire chapter of the 170th report on election law reform was devoted to the need for rules governing internal party democracy.
- It was highly advised that a framework for regulating the internal workings and internal party democracy of political parties be put in place.
- This was to be accomplished by adding a new portion to the RPA of 1951, Part II-A, titled “Organization of Political Parties and Matters Incident Thereto.”
Draft Political Parties (Registration and Regulation of Affairs) Act 2011
The proposal called for an Executive Committee for each political party, whose members would be chosen by the local committee members of the party’s state units. Without accepting any nominations, the latter would choose the party’s office holders from among themselves.
Update the anti-defection law
- The anti-defection act mandates that elected officials adhere strictly to the party whip when voting on legislation. Legislators are reduced to mere numbers on paper and are prevented from voting in accordance with their conscience, judgement, and the interests of their constituents.
- Making the rule solely applicable to votes that affect the stability of the government, such as approval of the yearly budget or no-confidence resolutions, is one way to resolve this issue.
A number of committees established by the government, including the Dinesh Goswami Committee, the Tarkunde Committee, and the Indrajit Gupta Committee, have also vociferously campaigned for increased transparency in how the political parties operate in the nation. Inner-party democracy can also be included in these suggestions.
One cannot expect a political party to uphold democratic values during the formation of a national government if those values are not upheld inside the party’s internal operations. In order to implement intra-party democracy, political parties must become aware of the growing calls for electoral political reforms.
Article Written By: Atheena Fathima Riyas