DMPQ: Write a short note on the office of whip.

The concept of the whip was inherited from colonial British rule. It is used in parliamentary parlance often for floor management by political parties in the legislature.

A whip is a written order that political party issue to its members for being present for an important vote, or that they vote only in a particular way. The term is derived from the old British practice of “whipping in” lawmakers to follow the party line.

They are vital in maintaining the links between the internal organisation of the party inside the Parliament. A whip is also an important office-bearer of the party in the Parliament.

In India, all parties can issue a whip to their members. Parties appoint a senior member from among their House contingents to issue whips. This member is called a Chief Whip, and he/she is assisted by additional Whips.

Constitutional status: The office of ‘whip’, is mentioned neither in the Constitution of India nor in the Rules of the House nor in a Parliamentary Statute. It is based on the conventions of the parliamentary government.

Non-applicability of Whip: There are some cases such as Presidential elections where whips cannot direct a Member of Parliament (MP) or Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) on whom to vote.

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