Discuss the major extra-constitutional factors influencing the federal Polity in India?
(Civil Services Exam-2008, 250 words)
Apart from the constitutional arrangement, extra constitutional factors also greatly influence the federal scheme in India. The extra constitutional bodies like Planning Commission and Zonal Council explicitly influence the federal polity, on the other hand collation politics and pressure groups influence the federal Polity implicitly.
Planning Commission is the extra constitutional body which majorly influences the federal polity. The Plan expenditure is exclusively allocated by the Planning Commission. As a matter of fact various subjects which are under the State List in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution like Agriculture are majorly affected by the decision of Planning Commission. Moreover the composition of Planning Commission is heavily biased in the favor of Centre. Also due to the presence of Prime Minister and other important Cabinet Ministers in Planning commission, various scholars have termed it as Super Cabinet. Also the Planning commission encroaches upon the autonomy of State and Local Planning bodies as the supreme authority to reject, modify or amend the Plans rests with it. This influences the federal polity to a great extent.
The extra constitutional bodies like Zonal Council also influence the federal polity. The purpose of Zonal Council is to take a collective approach and sort out common problems of the members’ state.
The collation politics also influence the federal polity in this era of coalition. The recent events like decision on NCTC, roll of rail budget presented by former rail minister Dinesh Trivedi, India’s vote against Sri Lanka in the case of Human Right violation etc were all influenced by the collation politics.