Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Abuse of Governor's Office ?? No clear winner stokes horse trading in Karnataka

The cry over “murder of democracy” vis-a-vis abuse of Governor’s office has come full circle. 

There is so much of a debate about BJP abusing power in Karnataka vis-a-vis its earlier stance in Meghalaya and Manipur but there is a slight difference..YET BIG DIFFERENCE Meghalaya and Manipur....congress was reduced to SINGLE LARGEST party after being in power. In Karnataka, BJP gained huge from 40 to 104. ruling Congress strength reduced from 122 to vote against Congress was clear. Gov office is always it wise to presume Modi will hand over power to Rahul on a platter. 

Blogger: Bengaluru Cantonment/Vasant Nagar 

Sir, I remember days in Nagaland when Vamuzo was denied chance TO form government. In 1990 Jamir was dismissed by Governor M M Thomas when V P Singh was Prime Minister. 

The cry over “murder of democracy” vis-a-vis abuse of Governor’s office has come full circle.
Just as the ‘office of the Governor’ has come under focus yet again following high drama in Karnataka, many say the Governor Vajubhai Vala has only toed the convention of inviting the single largest party. But some also say the high profile controversy around his move is only a throwback to old episodes when Raj Bhavans had courted controversies under Congress.
It is wrong to presume that a Governor will have to act by consulting the central government or union Home Ministry. The constitution is clear, it requires Governor to apply his own mind. 

New Federal Front Player: JD(S)

In Karnataka case too, the Governor should have or must have reacted according to the situation created by the verdict - presumably. Allegedly helped by Governors, the BJP has grabbed powers during the past two years in states like in Manipur, Goa and Meghalaya by denying government to the single largest party (that being Congress) from an election. They changed the rules and conventions for them now?

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala, is a former BJP member, who vacated his seat in Rajkot, Gujarat in 2002, when Modi needed to win an election after the party made him state chief minister. The 80-year-old BJP veteran had won his Rajkot seat for a record seven times and served also as BJP president in Gujarat.

Well, Mr Vala has been a BJP leader and Minister in Gujarat and close to Prime Minister Modi, can we not draw our conclusion?

What went wrong??

"Politically, the stage is set for horse trading. But BJP is to be blamed for this," a Congress party source said.
An anti-defection law threatens disqualification of a member of the house if they resign voluntarily from the party or votes or abstains from voting against the party directive. However, a party could be merged into another if at least two-thirds of its legislators voted for the merger.

A jubilant BJP has termed the party's victory as historic. BJP leaders like Defensc Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the people of Karnataka have rejected the "toxic and negative politics of Congress."

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad termed it as "a victory of a Narendra Modi-led campaign. People of Karnataka, irrespective of caste and creed, reposed their faith in his programs and policies," Prasad, federal law and justice minister, told reporters.

Despite BJP leaders projecting themselves victorious, a post poll alliance of Congress and JDS, could still shatter the BJP's dreams of forming government in Karnataka.

However, media discussions project the BJP victory as indicative of trends that could sweep the national elections due in May next year. Congress had been working for victory in Karnataka to lift the sagging spirit of its workers in preparation for the national elections.

The Congress, the grand old party that ruled India for most its seven-decade history as a free nation, could be reduced to insignificance if it fails for form the government. The party runs governments in just two of India's 29 states, Punjab and Mizoram.

Some have credited BJP's victories to Modi's oratorical skills and his promises of corruption-free governance and socio-economic development. 

The cry over “murder of democracy” vis-a-vis abuse of Governor’s office has come full circle. 

It is only paradoxical turn of twists today that the Congress party is at the receiving end of the alleged ‘dictatorial’ culture of RSS and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It is during the height of such debates in 1980s that eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee once wrote: “Governor is not the employee of the Government of  India. He is not amenable to the directions of the centre and he is an independent constitutional office”.

By and large the debate has been that like most Governors, the incumbent at Raj Bhavan in Bengaluru (Mr Vala) also toed the ‘political’ line of BJP – the party in power in the centre.  
A Bengaluru-based educationist Manjunath Vijay Kumar has his argument: “Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala has been a BJP leader, who vacated his seat in Rajkot in Gujarat in 2002 when Narendra Modi needed to win an election after the party made him state chief minister. So, we can draw our conclusion”.

In this context, a closer look at past instances would be important.  In 1973 Orissa High Court held the Governor’s role ‘wrong’ when towering non-Congress leader Biju Patnaik of Pragati Party was declined opportunity to form government after Congress ministry headed by Nandini Satpathi had resigned.

In more recent years, regionalist stalwart in northeast Vamuzo was declined opportunities to form government in Nagaland in 1987 when Hokishe Ministry of Congress party was reduced to minority.

In 1992 again Vamuzo was dismissed by the Rao regime and President’s Rule was imposed after he had recommended dissolution of state assembly. “I am not surprised, after all, the Congress has always considered itself as imperial power and treated the northeastern tribal people as residents of  Congress colonies,” the late Vamuzo had said. There were other instances too.  

Way back in 1959 the CPI-M regime was dismissed arbitrarily by the Nehru government. 

In the end perhaps it is relevant to discuss about the ‘works and duties’ of a Governor besides the responsibilities. 

In his paper for a seminar for University of Mumbai, titled ‘Some Constitutional Problems’ Justice Subha Rao once wrote: “One Governor told me as early as 1954 that he read 200 novels during his tenure, indicating thereby he had no serious work to do. Another Governor said that he was a non-entity. A third Governor publicly declared that she was a super hostess”.

The complexity of the debate about the Governor's office could not be summed up better. 


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