Vice President's panacea for political defections

Vice President's panacea for political defections

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu (PTI Photo)

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu Tuesday said it was time that a clear definition was given to defection as it remained a 'grey area' in the 10th Schedule of the Constitution.

"It's a grey area in the 10th Schedule. Clear definitions are needed on defections, merger. Such cases should also be disposed of in a time-bound manner," he said, adding special tribunals need to be set up for this.

Naidu said this while addressing a meet-and-greet program with eminent citizens in Vijayawada on completing two years as Vice President.

Referring to the defection of 23 YSR Congress MLAs into the Telugu Desam Party in the previous Assembly, he said their tenure ended but the case still remained pending (disposal by the then Speaker).

Some of the defectors even served as ministers, he pointed out.

In an oblique reference to Congress leader P Chidambaram, Naidu said a case over the former's election (to Lok Sabha) in 2009 still remained pending adjudication in court.

"He is a popular leader from Tamil Nadu who is now embroiled in controversy but I will not reveal the name. He completed the tenure from 2009 to 2014.

"And, 2014 is also gone and we are in 2019, but still the 2009 case against him is still pending," he noted.

On the merger of a political party with another, he said it was the Election Commission's domain.

"We need to have special tribunals to dispose of cases related to disqualification, defection. There is no provision for any action (against the Speaker) if he failed to dispose of cases within a time-frame. We need to have a specific time-frame for this," he said.

Naidu also batted for setting up special tribunals for adjudicating criminal cases against elected representatives.

"Judiciary must change and become more people-friendly. Special judicial tribunals are needed for speedy disposal of criminal cases against politicians. One year or six months... they should be settled. Why do we need to go up to the Supreme Court," he asked.

Naidu said political parties should evolve code of conduct for their members.

"The parties should place a report card before people on their elected representatives ahead of elections. This is vital," he added.

Andhra Pradesh Civil Supplies Minister Kodali Sri Venkateswara Rao, former minister Kamineni Srinivas, former MPs Yedlapati Venkata Rao and Yarlagadda Lakshmi Prasad were among those who attended the event.