ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Governor 'Adventurism'

The abuse of Article 356 in the name of safeguarding constitutional proprieties.

That the governor of a state should interfere in the activities of the state assembly, arrogate to himself the power to decide how it ought to function and worse, that he should support the political acts of a group of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members of the legislative assembly (MLAs), and even engage in political manipulation in favour of a breakaway faction of the Congress party and those BJP MLAs—all these commissions were not unexpected. In the case we are referring to, the governor even claimed he was safeguarding constitutional proprieties! But, in his deeds, he seemed to care two hoots about the “constitutional machinery;” the BJP’s political advantage was all that mattered to him.

That a constitution bench of the Supreme Court declared the decisions of J P Rajkhowa, the Governor of Arunachal Pradesh, “unconstitutional” was extraordinary but not unforeseen. As was its judgment holding all the governor’s orders that first led to the imposition of President’s Rule in the state on 25 January 2016 for 26 days, and later, to the formation of a new government by the breakaway faction of the Congress party with the support of the BJP MLAs, ultra vires the Constitution. Indeed, that the BJP should consider the Supreme Court’s ruling as “strange” was also not out of the blue. For political parties bereft of the principles of democracy, getting the numbers, a majority, was all that mattered/matters in deciding who should govern a state, to hell with how and by what means those numbers were obtained.

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