A whip is a directive from the party that binds party members of a House to obey the line of the party. There are three kinds of whip.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has appointed its MP Anurag Thakur as the party’s Chief Whip in the Lok Sabha. Thakur, who is an MP from Hamirpur, plays a crucial role in uniting the BJP MPs on the floor of the Lok Sabha when the government faces no-confidence motion on Friday. On Wednesday, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had accepted a no-confidence motion moved by the opposition against the Modi government and announced that a debate followed by voting will take place on Friday at 6pm.
All parties including the BJP, Shiv Sena, Congress, TMC and BJD have issued whip to their MPs to remain present in the Lok Sabha on Friday. This is the first time in the last 15 years when a no-confidence motion has been moved against the government and has also been accepted. However, the trust vote is not a matter of concern for the BJP-led NDA given that it enjoys a brute majority.
A whip is a shock absorber. He can’t take part in debates and discussions inside the House. Besides playing the role of an adviser to the party leaders, the chief whip is also a counsellor of members. Thus, the chief whip is the binding-force in the party.
What is a whip?
A whip is a directive from the party that binds party members of a House to obey the line of the party. There are three kinds of whip. A one line whip is issued to inform the members about the vote; a two line whip is issued to inform the members to be present inside the House at the time of the vote; and a three line whip is issued directing members to vote according to the party line. In India, the three-line whip can be violated only if one-third of the legislators of a party decide to cast their vote against the party line.
Who is chief whip?
Though the office of whip is not officially recognised in the standing orders, there has been a long tradition to give them a place in the Parliamentary form of government. The whip plays a crucial role in ensuring the smooth and efficient conduct of business on the floor of the House. The whip is an MP drawn from the party that is in power and also from the party that sits on the opposition bench. They are vital in maintaining the links between the internal organisation of party inside the Parliament. A whip is also an important office-bearer of the party in the Parliament.
What is his role?
The role of a chief whip is important in a parliamentary democracy. The BJP has appointed Anurag Thakur as its chief whip. The whip’s main duty is to look after the members of the party and keep them together inside the Parliament. It is also the duty of the chief whip to maintain discipline of the party on the floor of the House. Besides, he is responsible for keeping MPs, especially Ministers, informed of opinion in the party on the moods of individual members. It is the chief whip who identify the signs of disaffection or discontent among the MPs and keeps the Prime Minister updated about the views.
What if an MP violates party whip?
All the political parties have issued a whip to their MPs directing them to be present inside the Lok Sabha on Friday and adhere to the party line. If an MP violates his party’s whip, he faces expulsion from the House under the Anti Defection Act.