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Title : WHIP: An unavoidable political tool

Date : Nov 26, 2021

Description :



Parliament related issues:


  • What exactly is a whip:


  • A whip is a political party official who serves as the party's "enforcer" within the legislative assembly or house of parliament.
  • Parties appoint a senior member of their House contingent to issue whips; this person is known as the Chief Whip, and he or she is aided by additional Whips.
  • The British legislative system gave India the notion of the whip.
  • (Note: In parliamentary jargon, a whip is also a formal order requiring party members to be present for an important vote or to vote in a specific way.)


  • Whips' function:


  • They make every effort to guarantee that their fellow legislators attend voting sessions and vote in accordance with their political party's official policy.


  • What happens if you one doesn’t obey a whip:


  • If a legislator disobeys the party whip, she or he may face disqualification unless the number of parliamentarians opposing the whip is 2/3rds of the party's strength in the house. The Speaker of the House decides on disqualification.


  • Whip's limitations:


  • Whips cannot order a Member of Parliament (MP) or Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) to vote a certain way in certain circumstances, such as presidential elections.
  • The party issues three different types of whips or orders.


  • Types of Whip:


  • A single-line whip is used to notify members of a political party about a vote. It permits a member to vote no if they do not agree with the party position.
  • Two-line whip: Issued to ensure that all members of the House are present at the time of voting.
  • Members are given a three-line whip instructing them to vote in accordance with the party line.
  • The Supreme Court's decision in the Kihoto Holohan case on the subject of whipping:
  • The judgement stated unequivocally that courts should not intervene in disqualification procedures before the Speaker makes a final decision.
  • The ability of the courts to examine disqualification proceedings was severely limited.
  • However, in this case, the High Court interfered at the notice stage of the disqualification proceedings.


  • Source à The Hindu à 26/11/21 à Page 9

Tags : parliamentary democracy, parliamentary proceedings

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