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मंदार शिंदे
Mandar Shinde

Friday, May 10, 2024

The Hung Verdicts

The straight and simple meaning of a hung verdict is this: people refuse to trust any one party and that is the reason they have given every party some numbers but not all to any one of them. The clear implication being that different parties are mandated to work together to provide governance. A hung verdict is not to be interpreted as a breakdown of governance. To be a vibrant democracy it is necessary to respect the spirit as well as the letter of an electoral verdict and find a constitutional wayout.

Political parties and their particular programmes are part of the democracy game but they cannot override the needs of governance. Whether at the centre or in the states, hung verdicts will have to be honoured. It cannot be done through bizarre political match-making. Hung verdicts are meant to chasten overweening political parties and their leaders that people are not taken in by their rhetorical promises.

It is this view that a hung verdict is a people's mandate for all political parties together that will exclude the unwarranted role of the governor and of the central government. There is no scope for the governor to play the partisan arbiter in the formation of government and he or she has no business to recommend President's Rule. This amounts to constitutional immorality. The political exigencies arising out of a hung verdict have to be solved inside the assembly and not in the governor's house.

- Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr
DNA, 05/03/2012


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