A whip in parliamentary parlance is a written
order that party members be present for an important vote, or that they vote
only in a particular way. In India all parties can issue a whip to their
Parties appoint a senior member from among their
House contingents to issue whips — this member is called a Chief Whip. The
Chief Whip is assisted by additional Whips.
There are three kinds of whips- a) one line
whip, b) two line whip and c) three line whip.
A one-line whip, underlined once, is usually
issued to inform party members of a vote, and allows them to abstain in case
they decide not to follow the party line.
A two-line whip directs them to be present
during the vote.
A three-line whip is employed on important
occasions such as the second reading of a Bill or a no-confidence motion, and
places an obligation on members to toe the party line.
In India, rebelling against a three-line whip
can put a lawmaker’s membership of the House at risk
The anti-defection law, 1985, contained in the
10th Schedule of the Constitution allows the Speaker to disqualify such
a member. The only exception is when more than a third of legislators vote
against a directive, effectively splitting the party.