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Gubernatorial protocols

By   /  October 23, 2017  /  Comments Off on Gubernatorial protocols

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More often than not, in our country debates crop up about the practice of continuing with the Governor’s post. Many argue Governors’ are mere agents of the Central Government. They are always loyal to their appointing authority i.e. the Central Government. They do not perform the roles assigned to them. Rather, they are often been used as a tool to destabilise democratically elected opposition-led governments in the states, at the behest of the Centre. Misuse of powers by the Governors is not a new phenomenon. It all started with the then Congress president the late Indira Gandhi virtually forced the then Kerala Governor to dismiss the first non-Congress state government in the country. Since then, there are numerous examples of Governors acting in partisan manner. The Bommai case judgement or the report of the Sarkaria Commission has largely failed to curb this menace.
Apart from abusing powers, another controversy surrounding the appointments of the Governors is that Raj Bhavans all over the country are being treated as the dumping grounds of veteran politicians or a place to rehabilitate those who could not be given any prize posts despite being loyal to the ruling circles. If one examines the list of Governors of various states over the years, he or she will find truth in to these allegations. It will not be an exaggeration to mention about one gentleman who once appointed as the Governor of West Bengal. Before being appointed Governor, he was an active politician. He even served as a minister in the union cabinet. Within few days of becoming the Governor, he found the job boring and monotonous. So in no time he started making frequent trips to Delhi with the request to allow him to return to active politics, ignoring the duties and responsibilities of a Governor. More, one governor had to resign after he found involved in a sex scandal. There are numerous such examples where the Governors found wanting.
Recent to join the list is the present Governor of a North-Eastern state. Since assuming charges, he is making controversial comments without any fail. On being advised not to invite controversies through his remarks, he retorted by saying “Is there any law about what a Governor should speak or not.” But while making this comment he did not realise that such an important Constitutional post is meant for the persons who are aware about the duties and responsibilities. The post is different from the posts of Union Cabinet or the posts of top party functionary.
Even elected state governments cannot be right all the time. So the role of a Governor is crucial. The statement issued by the then governor of West Bengal Gopal Krishna Gandhi during the infamous Nandigram struggle, is the best example about how effective the Governors can be at the time of crisis. So there is no need to abolish the post of Governors. It will be an act of chopping the arm for pain. Rather, the appointing authority, i.e. the Central Government should be careful during selection. Political loyalty should not be the criterion. Whether the person is fit enough to discharge his duties and responsibilities as per the provisions of the Constitution should be adjudged first. Only then the post of Governors will become meaningful.

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