Bangalore, June 18 (IANS) Compulsions of coalition politics are eroding the authority of prime minister and chief ministers across the country and undermining parliamentary democracy, a former chief justice of India said Monday.
Increasing political expediency of coalitions has violated fundamental assumptions and basic rules of parliamentary democracy.
As a result, coalition politics has diluted the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy and eroded the authority of the prime minister and chief ministers, former chief justice M.N. Venkatachalaiah told lawmakers here.
Delivering the keynote address at the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Karnataka assembly, Venkatachalaiah regretted that even a small political party with a handful of legislators could help another party to achieve a fragile majority and bargain for representation in the government.
Insuch a scenario, a prime minister or a chief minister will have no control over the behaviour of a member in his cabinet due to compulsions of coalition politics. Virtually, there will be as many chief ministers as there are political parties in the coalition government, the eminent jurist said.
Noting that a coalition government could not be an excuse for diluting the authority of the prime minister or a chief minister, Venkatachalaiah asserted that democracy provided the most favourable climate for development.
Democracyand growth are compatible. With two exceptions, the world's richest countries have the most democratic regimes. Further, 42 of the 48 high human development countries are democracies. Democratic governance is the single largest input in the fight against poverty. An inclusive democracy is the most significant factor in human development and better suited for managing conflicts and catastrophes, he observed.
Coincidingthe celebrations with the first session of the state assembly held June 18, 1952, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government felicitated five lawmakers of the assembly's first term - U.M. Madappa, Mulka Govinda Reddy, T.G. Thimme Gowda, Amba Das and Vasanth Rao L. Patil.
Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah led the house in honouring the first-term legislators on the occasion.
Governor H. R. Bhardwaj presided over the function, while former chief ministers M. Veerappa Moily, H.D. Kumaraswamy, N. Dharam Singh and B.S. Yeddyurappa participated in the two-hour long function.
Former prime minister and chief minister H.D. Deve Gowda and External Affairs Minister and former chief minister S.M. Krishna, however, could not be present.
A colourful and informative souvenir chronicling the six decades of the state legislative assembly was released to commemorate the diamond jubilee celebrations.