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Cross voting in India | Definition, Meaning, Identification and Action

The issue of cross voting in presidential and vice-presidential elections has always been a part of controversies. All the parties are scared of this and for this they are also taking precautionary steps from now on. Cross voting is often mentioned but many people are not fully aware about it. In this article, we will know what is cross voting in India, how parties detect cross voting and what is the action taken against those who do cross voting.

Cross voting in India

What is cross voting in India

In India, in an election when an MLA or MP votes for the opposition candidate instead of his own party, it is called cross voting. Apart from President, Vice President, this has happened many times in Rajya Sabha elections. Although cross voting is not illegal, there is a difference between illegal voting and cross voting. Illegal voting is when you have cast your vote incorrectly and because of this the vote is not counted.

The President is elected through the Electoral College. In such a situation, a member may not have done cross voting but the vote may be invalid because the voting method is not followed properly.

In cross voting, votes are counted, but the voting representative votes for the opposition camp rather than the candidate of his or her party or faction. In this sense, cross voting cannot be called illegal voting.

A whip is issued by the party to prevent cross voting. Issuance of whip means that if any member goes against the order then his membership will be terminated from the party.

However, even after this, cross voting has not stopped. The reason for this is that even after being expelled or suspended from the party, the membership of the MLA, MP does not go away and he continues in his post.

This is how parties detect cross voting

Parties are aware of cross voting, because in Rajya Sabha elections and President-Vice-President elections, a party representative is present, and he can monitor what his party’s representatives are voting for. Against this, Kuldip Nayar had filed a petition in the Supreme Court. Nayyar argued that the members of the Upper House should be elected by secret ballot. However, his petition was rejected.

Action is taken against those who do cross voting

Usually parties take strict action against those who cross vote. Action is taken to remove or suspend him from the party, remove him from key posts. Despite this, the membership of public representatives remains and this is the reason that cross voting has not stopped.

There are often allegations and counter-allegations regarding cross voting. The parties keep making trade claims against each other. It can be said in simple language that if a BJP MP votes for Yashwant Sinha instead of NDA candidate Draupadi Murmu in the presidential election, then it will be cross voting.

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