What is Whip?

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Major political party issued a three-line whip to its Lok Sabha MPs asking them to be present in the House tomorrow as the Prime Minister of India will reply to the Motion of Thanks on the Presidential address delivered recently.

About Whip: 

  • A whip in parliamentary parlance is a written order that party members be present for an important vote, or that they vote only in a particular way.
  • The term is derived from the old British practice of “whipping in” lawmakers to follow the party line.
  • The importance of a whip can be inferred from the number of times an order is underlined.
  • Appointment:

o In India all parties can issue a whip to their members.

o Parties appoint a senior member from among their House contingents to issue whips — this member is called a Chief Whip, and he/she is assisted by additional Whips.

  • Types of whips:

o One-line whip: A one-line whip, underlined once, is usually issued to inform party members of a vote, and allows them to abstain in case they decide not to follow the party line.

o Two-line whip: A two-line whip directs them to be present during the vote.

o Three-line whip: A three-line whip is the strongest, employed on important occasions such as the second reading of a Bill or a no-confidence motion, and places an obligation on members to toe the party line.

  • Defiance of whip

o In India, rebelling against a three-line whip can put a lawmaker’s membership of the House at risk.

o The anti-defection law allows the Speaker/Chairperson to disqualify such a member; the only exception is when more than a third of legislators vote against a directive, effectively splitting the party. 

Q1:What is Anti-defection law?

It was introduced in India in 1985 through the 52nd amendment to the Constitution of India. This amendment added the Tenth Schedule to the Constitution, which lists out the provisions related to defection. It lays down the process by which legislators may be disqualified on grounds of defection by the Presiding Officer of a legislature based on a petition by any other member of the House.

Source:BJP Issues Whip To Its Lok Sabha MPs To Be Present In House Today