Governors’ Rejig: ASSAULT ON FEDERAL SPIRIT …

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel August 30, 2014 12:36

Governors’ Rejig: ASSAULT ON FEDERAL SPIRIT …


Governors’ Rejig

ASSAULT ON FEDERAL SPIRIT

By Insaf

 

30maharstra_governorThe nation’s federal structure be damned, seems to be the mantra for both the BJP and Congress alike. This disturbing reflection emanates from the recent sacking/transfers/ resignations of eight Congress-appointed Governors since the BJP-led NDA came to power. The recent-most case being that of Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranarayanan, who was transferred to Mizoram. He chose to resign. Kerala Governor Sheila Dikshit was being tipped to be sent to Aizawl instead, and she too put in her papers. Earlier, Mizoram had a vacancy as Governor Kamla Beniwal was sacked for misusing office. Prior to this, Governors of Uttar Pradesh B L Joshi and West Bengal MK Narayanan readily obliged the Centre by stepping down, following informal advice. In its reaction the Congress accused the NDA government of “insulting” and “humiliating” the Governors; exercising its power in an “extremely arbitrary manner” going “against the spirit of federalism” and that authoritarianism was the DNA of the Government,” etc. Further, it has alleged that the BJP government was going against the Supreme Court’s Constitutional bench judgment delivered way back in 2004, which stated “that under no circumstances because the governor does not see eye to eye with the political dispensation of the State or the Government in Delhi and is not sync with their ideology, the governors cannot be treated in such a cavalier manner.”

 

Ironically, the same very Congress as soon as it came to power in 2004 as UPA removed a number of governors appointed by the NDA Government claiming they had RSS backgrounds! These included Governors of Haryana, Babu Parmanand, Uttar Pradesh’s Vishnu Kant Shastri, Goa’s Kidar Nath Sahani and Gujarat’s Kailashpati Mishra. They were sacked as the Government failed to get their resignations on “informal advice”. Then too it triggered a controversy. The BJP questioned the Congress’ decision and criticised the move as “unconstitutional” and one aimed “against the federal structure.” The Congress didn’t blink and filled the vacancies promptly with its own men. Indeed, the two main parties are giving short shrift to basic norms. They seem to have forgotten that the true function of the Governor is that of “a Constitutional sentinel and that of vital link between the Union and the State…” The Governor has to bear in mind the overall national interest, not partisan party interests. He has to be in tune not with the party in power at the Centre, but with his own people. Being the holder of an independent Constitutional office, the Governor “is not a subordinate or subservient agent of the Union Government.” When will this politicisation of the constitutional post be brought an end to, is a question that needs to be asked. It’s high time this merry-go-round stops.

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Despair & Hope in Bypolls

The recent byelections in Bihar, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab should have the BJP frowning. Of the 18 Assembly seats the Congress and its allies won 10. Signal enough for 7 Race Course Road that the ‘Modi wave’ as witnessed in the General elections, just three months ago, is on the wane. While the BJP would not admit it publicly and argue that local factors rather a wave are critical for Assembly elections, the results particularly in Bihar, could spell trouble for the party elsewhere, if rivals succeed in forming an anti-BJP group. The ‘grand alliance’ experiment of the RJD-JD(U)-Congress combined proved political pundits wrong as it successfully managed to block BJP tally to just four out of 10 seats. The victory in six seats has given the Opposition renewed hope that all is not lost and that a ‘secure alliance’ could be workable. Recall that the BJP had swept the Lok Sabha elections in the State by winning 31 of the 40 seats. This apart, the Congress has done well in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh wresting a seat each, bastions of the BJP. All eyes are now on the ensuing four State Assemblies’ elections– J&K, Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand to see whether the trend of despair and hope continues. With the byelections result impact the BJP’s chances and make it see the writing on the wall?

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Haryana Poll Twists

New turns and twists are taking place before the Assembly elections in Haryana, around October. BJP’s partner of three years’ standing, the Kuldeep Bishnoi-led Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC-BL) has snapped its ties with it. Bishnoi accused the BJP of ‘betraying it…despite our level best to keeping the alliance working…” Observers say this was bound to happen as the stakes for the BJP are high in Haryana and it is eyeing dethroning the Congress. The party claims to be in a position to contest all 90 seats and will fight the elections alone. This has irked Bishnoi, who wanted half the share of seats and be declared the alliance’s chief ministerial candidate. However, this is a tall order as the HJC failed to win the two seats it had contested in the Lok Sabha polls, whereas the BJP bagged seven of the eight fought. Bishnoi is trying to tie up with former Congressman Venod Sharma. At the same time, BJP’s relations with its Punjab ally, the SAD seem to be going a wee bit awry, with the latter upset over it offering support to Om Praksah Chautala-led INLD for the polls. While the anti-incumbency factor weighs heavily against the ruling Congress, it is worth a watch of how it manages to counter the BJP and INLD threat and which way the Jat vote swings. There are too many players this time.

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Petition Centre, TN Told

The perennial problem of Tamil fishermen’s arrest by the Sri Lankan Navy should see political parties in Tamil Nadu, putting additional pressure on New Delhi. This follows the Supreme Court disposing the petition of DMK Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha M Thambidurai and another former MP AKS Vijayan seeking the apex court’s direction to the Centre to take measures to secure the release of fishermen who are languishing in Lankan jails and to prevent attacks on fishermen on the sea. “These are matters in which the court cannot intervene. Can we ask the Sri Lankan Navy not to arrest Indian fisherman who stray into their waters? These are political issues and you raise them in Parliament….” the court advised the petitioners. It felt that this forum would be ‘far more effective’. However, what perhaps the court missed out on was that the issue should be taken by all the parties in Tamil Nadu together. For, both Houses in Parliament are witness to the parties, particularly the AIADMK and the DMK, raising the issue, but separately in their bid to score brownie points over the other. At times, putting a question mark on their sincerity and real concern. —INFA

 

(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

Sarkaritel
By Sarkaritel August 30, 2014 12:36