Explain the concept of ‘Prime Ministerial Government’ and account for its decline in recent times in India. (250 words)

Parliamentarism is also known as “Prime Ministerial Government”. In parliamentarism the executive branch is led by a council of ministers, headed by a Prime Minister, who are directly accountable to the legislature and often have their background in the legislature (regardless of whether it is called a “parliament”, a “diet”, a “chamber”).

Parliamentary system in India has not worked as successfully as was anticipated by the framers of the constitution, because of the following hindrances.

  1. Personality cult- As it was rightly said” there are political personalities in India rather than political parties”. Quite often, right from the Nehruvian era up to the latest one, our political institutions worked more like benevolent dictatorship than democratic.
  2. Multiple Party System– Multiplicity of parties has led to factionalism & frequent defection. Lust for power is the main driving force for this.
  3. Lack of Constructive Opposition – But in the last six decades, an effective strong, organized and viable national opposition could never emerge except in flashes. The opposition parties have failed to play a constructive role.
  4. Absence of Collective Responsibility – The principle of collective responsibility which forms the bedrock principle of parliamentary democracy has not worked properly in India. There have been number of cases in which the individual ministers were made scape goats to escape the collective responsibility of the cabinet. For e.g. In 1962 when India suffered serious reverses in the Sino – Indian War, the cabinet did not resign and made the then Defence minister, V. K. Menon tender his resignation.
  5. No Separation of Powers – The legislature and executive are together and inseparable. The cabinet acts as the leader of the legislature and executives.
  6. Criminalization of Politics – Social activists point out that more than 40% of the MPs, MLAs have criminal background.
  7. Public Apathy – People have tended to make use of their right to franchise in a negative way. They often vote on the basis of caste, religion, Regional and other considerations.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email