From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Whip
Mains level : Defection by politicians
The party in the opposition has appointed two members as the party’s whips in the Upper House.
Who is a Whip?
- A whip is an official of a political party whose task is to ensure party discipline in a legislature.
- This means ensuring that members of the party vote according to the party platform, rather than according to their own individual ideology or the will of their donors or constituents.
- Whips are the party’s “enforcers”.
- They try to ensure that their fellow political party legislators attend voting sessions and vote according to their party’s official policy.
- Members who vote against party policy may “lose the whip”, effectively expelling them from the party.
Answer this PYQ:
Which one of the following Schedules of the Constitution of India contains provisions regarding anti-defection? (CSP 2017)
(a) Second Schedule
(b) Fifth Schedule
(c) Eighth Schedule
(d) Tenth Schedule
Post your answers here.
Whips in India
- In India, the concept of the whip was inherited from colonial British rule.
- Every major political party appoints a whip who is responsible for the party’s discipline and behaviors on the floor of the house.
- Usually, they direct the party members to stick to the party’s stand on certain issues and directs them to vote as per the direction of senior party members.
What happens if a whip is disobeyed?
- A legislator may face disqualification proceedings if she/he disobeys the whip of the party unless the number of lawmakers defying the whip is 2/3rds of the party’s strength in the house.
- Disqualification is decided by the Speaker/Chairman of the house.
Limitations of whip
- There are some cases such as Presidential elections where whips cannot direct a Member of Parliament (MP) or Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) to vote in a particular fashion.
Types of whips
There are three types of whips or instructions issued by the party
- One-line whip: One-line whip is issued to inform members of a party about a vote. It allows a member to abstain in case they decide not to follow the party line.
- Two-line whip: Two-line whip is issued to direct the members to be present in the House at the time of voting.
- Three-line whip: Three-line whip is issued to members directing them to vote as per the party line.