President by direct election?

SUBHASH
CHANDRA AGRAWAL
It is not
good that ruling party has to be involved in political bargains even at cost of
economic principles to gain support of its Presidential candidate from its
allies in the government. Time has come whereby President and Vice presidents
may be simultaneously elected by direct elections by ensuring just two (or
three) candidates for each post in the fray. This can be done by minimum
one-third collegiums votes for filing nominations for these posts.
Lok Sabha
should also be presided by a second Vice President to ensure impartial
conductance of proceedings. In case of mid-term vacancy at post of President,
senior Vice President may be made President for rest of the term. In case of
mid-term vacancy at post of a Vice President, an interim Vice President may be
elected by MPs only for rest of the term. In case of none of the three
regularly-elected persons as President and two Vice Presidents being available
for the post of President, fresh regular elections for all three posts may be
held together, without waiting for completion of term.
Persons once
occupying posts of President or Vice President (and even state-governors) must
not be allowed to take part in active politics for rest of their lives. In case
of violation, all their post-retirement benefits may be abolished forever.
Considering controversy on President’s trips, rules should be tightened to
define ‘family members’ entitled to enjoy benefits of public-expense apart from
limiting personal and household staff for a President.
Discretionary
power of Presidents in naming Prime Minister should be restricted by adopting a
system whereby Prime Minister may be elected by secret and compulsory vote of
all Lok Sabha members through Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) on nominations
signed by at least one-third members. Such an elected leader may be removed by
same process but with compulsion of naming alternate leader in the same motion.
Even Deputy Speaker should be elected simultaneously with Prime Minister in the
same manner.
To avoid
members racing for ministerial-berths, system should be to select only those
persons as Prime Minister and Ministers who might not have contested any
election in last six years. System will induce quality in governance system and
will largely reduce expenses because experts rather than professional
politicians will get ministerial berths with legislatures playing bigger role of
king-makers with vigilant eye on such selected ministers. Hung Lok Sabha and
mid-term polls will automatically vanish. Even ministerial-strength then can be
practically restricted to ten-percent strength of lower House because of
automatic abolition of bargains required for ministry formation. Similar system
can be adopted for electing Chief Ministers in states also.

 

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