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    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    December 12, 2006

    Electoral misconduct and no clamour over hockey?

    Last week, by-elections were held in quite a few constituencies, for Lok Sabha and Assembly seats. I am unaware of the results elsewhere, but the two results that led to this post are Telangana Rashtra Samiti chief K Chandrasekhar Rao and former Karnataka deputy CM S Siddaramiah winning their Lok Sabha and Assembly seats.

    Both had in fact resigned their seats earlier: Rao, over the UPA government (of which he was a part) paying lip-service to his party's demand for a separate state of Telangana and Siddaramiah, after he walked out of the JD(S) and joined the Congress(I) following a fall-out with former PM and JD(S) chief, Deve Gowda.

    A few months ago, Sonia Gandhi resigned her Rai Bareli seat after being accused of holding an office of profit while being an MP. She was obviously re-elected. The government then passed a law with retrospective effect which ensured that henceforth, politicians couldn't be charged with holding offices of profit since all the offices that they held were exempted from being offices of profit!

    I am of the firm opinion that when legislators resign since they were switching parties, merely to make their presence felt, to gain political brownie points, in protest, or on technicalities, the state (i.e. taxpayers) should not bear the costs of the subsequently necessary by-election.

    Similarly, the practice of allowing candidates to contest from more than one constituency must also be done away with. Both these steps would go some distance towards establishing that the political class cannot keep getting away with making laws to suit themselves, and that they exist to make laws for the benefit of the people they govern represent.

    The other aspect that's very interesting is the total lack of clamour among legislators about the Indian hockey team's pathetic show at the Doha Asian Games. This is in stark contrast to the way they reacted to the Indian cricket team's pathetic show in South Africa, including losing to China.

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