"Surprisingly, there have been massive majorities but not more than half of the Indian voters have given their mandate in favour of a party, not in the past not in present, never to the Congress never to any other party including the BJP," Mukherjee said.
Former president Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday reminded political parties that even if they come to power with a huge mandate, they must keep in mind the large number of people who did not vote for them. Addressing a seminar at the Rajasthan Assembly here, Mukherjee recalled that some Lok Sabha elections have been won by massive majorities, but the vote share for any party has not crossed the 50 per cent mark.
“Surprisingly, there have been massive majorities but not more than half of the Indian voters have given their mandate in favour of a party, not in the past not in present, never to the Congress never to any other party including the BJP,” Mukherjee said. “The Indian electorate tells the ruling party, I am giving you enough seats to form the government but please remember you do not have our total mandate. That means you have to carry along those who have not voted for you because they are the people of this sovereign democratic republic,” he added.
The former president’s address comes months after the Bharatiya Janata Party won the Lok Sabha polls, securing 303 seats. Its vote share was about 40 per cent. In his address, Mukherjee elaborated on the journey and various phases of development of parliamentary system in the country, role of executive and judiciary, historic aspects, the Constitution and its preamble.
“India’s parliamentary system was neither accidental nor the gift of the British government. It was the contribution of our people, our struggle, movement and our efforts,” he said. The seminar was organised for the current and former members of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association’s (CPA) Rajasthan branch.
CPA Rajasthan president and assembly speaker C P Joshi said that in the general elections held between 1952 and 2009, 50 per cent of the voteshare got divided between the two major political parties– the Congress and the BJP. However, in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the figure exceeded the 50 per cent mark as both the national parties increased their voteshare at the cost of regional parties.
The speaker said that it was a good indication for parliamentary democracy if the vote share of national parties increases and share of regional parties decreases. Joshi said there is no country like India which has made remarkable progress through parliamentary democracy. CPA Rajsthan vice president and chief minister Ashok Gehlot said the seminar was organised for the first time in the state and was a good learning experience for the legislators.