Never before have the institutions that underpin a parliamentary democracy been so brazenly undermined, denigrated and captured as in the last 5 years. Examples of this include the Reserve Bank of India, Central Vigilance Commission, Election Commission of India, Central Bureau of Investigation, Enforcement Directorate, Central Information Commission, National Statistics Commission and National Human Rights Commission.
- Congress promises to restore the dignity, authority and autonomy of these institutions while making them accountable to Parliament. Congress promises that selection and appointment to these bodies will be transparent and will be with due regard to the importance of institutional integrity.
- Congress promises to amend the Anti-Defection Law to provide for instant disqualification of a Member of Parliament or a Member of the State Legislature for proven disobedience to the party’s whip or for withdrawing allegiance to the party or for supporting another party. A disqualified member shall not be eligible to hold any public office (including that of minister) or be a candidate in an election to Parliament or the State Legislature for a period of 2 years from the date of disqualification.
- We will introduce the requirement of public consultation before a Bill is introduced in Parliament.
- All government schemes and programmes shall be subjected to social audit. Congress promises to enact a Social Accountability Act.
- Congress promises to amend the Aadhaar Act, 2016 in order to restrict the use of Aadhaar to subsidies, benefits and services provided by the government as was originally intended under the law. Congress also promises that, having regard to the inherent limitations of biometric identification, alternate instruments of identification will be allowed under the law.
- Appointments to the Lokpal will be made in accordance with the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013. The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and, in the absence of such a leader, the leader of the largest Opposition Party will be a full-fledged member of the selection committee.