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Decisional Analysis and the Role of the Speaker

The Indian Parliament, in the era of coalition governments, has seen an increase in the number of disruptions of sittings. This, Harsimran Kalra argues, has severely impacted legislation in the Lok Sabha. In this Policy Report, Ms. Kalra situates the decisions of Lok Sabha Speakers in a political context. She demonstrates that their decisions are guided by pressing political concerns, public opinion and a desire to augment the legislative functioning of the Lok Sabha. Ms. Kalra identifies the frequency of disruptions caused by Members of Parliament as a key pressure on the role of the Speaker. The Speaker’s job is to maintain decorum and ensure that debates are productive. In recent years, the pull of coalition governments has made this role tougher for most Speakers. In this Policy Report, Ms. Kalra identifies mechanisms that Speakers have used to discipline Members of Parliament and offers policy suggestions that can enhance the Speaker’s role. [PDF 1.28 MB]

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