Where compulsion makes the basic ingredient…
In existing political scenario almost all politicians, particularly those in power are accused of wrongdoings. Until these allegations are substantiated by tangible evidence and proved after subjecting to due process of law, no one can be and should be held guilty. However, political probity demands non-controversial and a much cleaner image; no politician can afford to carry the tag of allegations and controversies. Political career is like a mirror where even a slightest crack ruins the image of the looker (politician). Practically in contemporary parliamentary democracy politicians have absolute powers with many checks and balances incorporated in the system to curb the misuse of power. True democracy being primarily based on equality leaves very less space for Politicians to circumvent rudiments of democracy—answerability. Presently, accountability within our political system and that of individual politicians seems to be at its lowest ebb and is a much bigger public issue inviting lot of debate both at national and local level. Much talked about Lokpal issue is an indicator of people’s disgruntlement towards existing bad politics.
Recently, in this land of political uncertainty a senior politician holding a prominent position within the collation government as lawmaker and custodian of several important departments was accused of land grab by one of his fellow lawmakers. The allegations made on the floor of the house being serious in nature invited attention of the honorable Chairman of the upper house (legislative Council) and the worthy chairman constituted a house committee to look into the genuineness of the allegations and unearth the facts. The constitution of the committee and its subsequent proceedings annoyed the concerned and created a lot of hullabaloo within the coalition camp and corridors of power. Politicians on both sides of the fence tried to derive maximum political mileage out of this issue bothering least about accountability and political probity. The politician concerned instead of providing facts and logic in his defense challenged the constitution of the committee on the plea that no house committee is entitled to investigate a matter against any sitting minister. Challenging an institution and its authority from where you derive powers to rule is extreme mockery. The political drama enacted in the theatre of collation and actively catalysed by the opposition further unfolded the murky vistas of present political travesty.
Firstly, a section of the committee mysteriously dissociated itself from the committee and then many other unparliamentary incidents dominated the scene. Allegations and counter allegations were made to belittle the significance of the committee and influence its prospective proceedings. Unfortunately members of the house themselves diluted the powers and jurisdiction of the committee, thus the proverbial,’ is ghar ko Aag lag gaie ghar kay chiraag se’ holds good for this political episode of drama and damage.
Natural justice and political probity demands that politicians should voluntarily submit themselves to rule or law particularly of which they are a part, directly or indirectly. Parliamentary traditions cannot be cited as reason for exemption from any probe that too by a committee of lawmakers. Traditions can be changed in the best interest of transparency and justice, but rules cannot be mutilated to have inappropriate traditions in place. Resorting to all overt and covert ploys to scuttle the house committee and undermine its authority has blemished the system of parliamentary democracy in the state. At the moment coalition partners under political compulsion played down and brushed this issue under the carpet but in future such situation will badly erode the credibility of democratic institutions. This issue has also put a question mark on the workability of coalition politics in this part of the world. Coalition is a political compulsion and not a political market to have political bargaining.