The Maharashtra Farce: Maharashtra governor’s action unconstitutional
The Maharashtra Farce which was played at the ‘stroke of late night’ yesterday with President Kovind signing the removal of the Presidential Rule there therefore allowing the Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari to swear in Devendra Fednavis and Ajeet Panwar as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of the state is the modus operandi of how two leaders who are running the BJP at the moment. It is deeply distressing and disgusting to see how blatantly conventions, rules are kept aside and things are being done in an absolutely arbitrary manner without ever thinking of being accountable to the people and to the constitution of India.
We all know that BJP and Shiv Sena jointly fought Maharashtra elections and both were unable to get a majority. The governor gave time to NCP but did not follow the convention, as before NCP could formally respond, the governor rule was imposed. Shiv Sena and BJP were not able to come to a conclusion that Chief Minister’s position should be shared by the two parties.
The Governor Rule was imposed in the state under the pretext that all the ‘political efforts’ have failed.
The NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena were then trying to make all efforts to iron out their differences. I am not fascinated with these parties and their work culture but in democracy a government has to be formed so that the state does not suffer and people’s representative take over and guide the destiny of the state.
By the evening of the Friday, it became clear that Udhav Thackrey, the Chief of Shiv Sena would be the next chief Minister of Maharashtra as all the three parties have done their homework. It took long but it was natural given the ideological and political differences that they had and hence essential was to work on a Common Minimum Programme so that the government could work. Sharad Pawar had officially announced that Udhav Thackrey would be the chief minister of Maharashtra for five years. As the nation was preparing to see the political climax, Modi and Shah has done what they are known for. In the late night they swung into action and got Devendra Fednavis and Ajeet Pawar as Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra.
This government has been the blatantly violating political norms and practices.
Perhaps that does not matter anything for them. They did not wait for the process as they know it would be difficult for them to contain or Stop Udhav Thackrey to form the government.
The tragedy in this entire farce is how the office of the President is being used and how he ready to sign on dotted lines. The Governors have already become the ruling party members. They might have been the members of the ruling party but it is a non-political position. In fact, those who demand that the governor’s post should be removed seems to be correct. It is time to think about these things.
If BJP and breakaway NCP had numbers then why this swearing in early morning. It is clear that the government has played dubious role in allowing the CM and Deputy CM to be the poachers and break the parties. The naked dance of democracy is now being played in Maharashtra. What they played in Karnataka shamelessly is being replicated in Maharashtra. Will they succeed is another matter but it is a fact that the current leadership of BJP will not settle anything less than their party in the government which is absolutely disturbing.
Will Maharashtra accept this farce?
All institutions have collapsed under pressure. Look at the Karnataka farce. The 18 MLAs of Congress Party who joined BJP lost their membership and Supreme Court confirmed it, but the Same Court allowed them to contest elections. The Court did not utter a single sentence over the nature of the Karnataka government. How can a government be called legitimate if it does not have the majority and 18 MLAs who are its ‘backbone’ have been dismissed from their membership of the assembly?
While people are upset. Political leaders will have to stand up and show that they stand for principles and convictions.
They are making a mockery of them. It is happening because parties are giving ticket to goons, to moneylenders, to tycoons and they spend crores of rupees to win elections. Once they win election, they feel that they have right to get their money back. They can’t wait for their party take an official decision and allow themselves to be blackmailed by the corrupt practices.
All the claims of fight against corruption are farce and lies as long as we see such unethical practices happening in our democracy.
Our institutions have collapsed completely and their decisions are being taken in the north block, in Delhi. Will the Congress and other opposition parties show some strength and fight against such blatant onslaught on our democratic conventions and practices. Will the Supreme Court take a cognizance of it? We can’t believe in today’s media whose work is to play as cheerleader of the establishment and blame the opposition for ‘delaying’ things. In democracy, we all are partner and we need to stand up and speak against such corrupt practices just to deny opposition to form the government in the state. Let political parties pledge to fight against such corrupt practices and stand up for their principles. Let them not give ticket to non-committed, non-ideological persons from contesting on their party ticket. Will this happen? Perhaps not. We all have to suffer the pains because lack of convictions and ideology among our political class and the result is this erosion of values and stealing of people’s mandate.
Vidya Bhushan Rawat
November 24th, 2019