Vala at odds with Sarkaria re­port

The Free Press Journal - - WORLD - Nitya Chakraborty

By invit­ing the BJP leader B S Yed­dyu­rappa to form the new Kar­nataka govern­ment de­spite his in­abil­ity to prove ma­jor­ity sup­port among the elected leg­is­la­tors, Gov­er­nor Va­jub­hai Vala has acted like an RSS pracharak rather than a cus­to­dian of the In­dian con­sti­tu­tion. The most sor­did as­pect of this whole drama of govern­ment mak­ing is that the BJP leader ini­tially talked of only two days for proving his ma­jor­ity but he was given a full fif­teen days since the top BJP lead­er­ship was not sure of or­gan­is­ing the horse trad­ing of the MLAs be­long­ing to the Congress and the JD(S) within two days and they sought 15 days’ time to or­gan­ise the af­fair. The Kar­nataka gov­er­nor read­ily agreed to that like a party ap­parchik and al­lowed the sale of democ­racy in Kar­nataka for an­other two weeks.

The act is un­par­don­able as there are clear prece­dents in the last few years about what the Gov­er­nor should do ac­cord­ing to the Con­sti­tu­tion to up­hold the val­ues of demo­cratic func­tion­ing of the leg­is­la­ture. Out of the 222 seats to which the elec­tions were held in Kar­nataka assem­bly, the BJP got 104 seats, the Congress 78 and the JD(S) got 38 seats. The JD(S) leader H D Ku­maraswamy sub­mit­ted to the gov­er­nor the let­ter con­tain­ing the sig­na­tures of 117 leg­is­la­tors in­clud­ing one in­de­pen­dent as against the 104 of the BJP and still the Gov­er­nor with­out car­ing to ver­ify the fig­ures given by Ku­maraswamy, in­vited the BJP leader to form the govern­ment and BSY took oath on Thurs­day morn­ing within 16 hours of the sub­mis­sion of the ma­jor­ity leg­is­la­tures list by the JD(S) leader. This is the height of party loy­alty by a gov­er­nor tram­pling on the sa­cred prin­ci­ples of the Con­sti­tu­tion and the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Sarkaria Com­mis­sion.

Sarkaria Com­mis­sion re­port specif­i­cally deals with the sit­u­a­tion where no sin­gle party ob­tains ab­so­lute ma­jor­ity and pro­vides the or­der of pref­er­ence the Gov­er­nor should fol­low in se­lect­ing a chief min­is­ter. The or­der of pref­er­ence sug­gested is - an al­liance of par­ties that was formed prior to elec­tions, the largest sin­gle party stak­ing a claim to form the govern­ment with the sup­port of oth­ers in­clud­ing the in­de­pen­dents, a post elec­toral coali­tion of par­ties, with all the part­ners of the coali­tion join­ing the govern­ment and the fourth a post elec­toral al­liance of the par­ties, with some of the par­ties in the al­liance form­ing a govern­ment and the re­main­ing par­ties, in­clud­ing the in­de­pen­dents sup­port­ing the govern­ment from out­side.

In the spe­cific case of Kar­nataka assem­bly fol­low­ing the re­sults on May 15, the third op­tion of al­low­ing the Congress and JD(S) com­bi­na­tion to form the govern­ment is the most vi­able op­tion be­cause the sec­ond op­tion of the largest party stak­ing claim can­not be con­sid­ered as al­ready the post elec­toral al­liance of the Congress-JD(S) has sub­mit­ted the list of ma­jor­ity leg­is­la­tors with sig­na­tures and they are ready to form a coali­tion govern­ment. So there is no ques­tion of in­sta­bil­ity in the govern­ment.

The con­sti­tu­tional position de­mands that the post poll coali­tion stuck by the Congress and the JD(S) along with an­other in­de­pen­dent com­mands the sup­port of ma­jor­ity in the Kar­nataka assem­bly and the Gov­er­nor’s job is to en­sure that Ku­maraswamy proves his ma­jor­ity on the floor of the house as early as pos­si­ble. Ku­maraswamy was ready for that within 24 hours but the Gov­er­nor gave BSY 15 days time to prove his ma­jor­ity.

The fact is that Va­jub­hai Vala should not have been the Gov­er­nor by any means if the cri­te­ria of the Sarkaria Com­mis­sion is fol­lowed. The Com­mis­sion says that the gov­er­nor should be emi­nent in some walk of life and from out­side the state. He should be a de­tached fig­ure with­out in­tense po­lit­i­cal links or should not have taken part in pol­i­tics in re­cent times. Be­sides, he should not be a mem­ber of the rul­ing party. But Vala is an ac­tivist of RSS and he va­cated his assem­bly seat for Naren­dra Modi to con­test elec­tions af­ter Modi be­came the CM of Gu­jarat. Vala re­mained a min­is­ter, be­came the speaker of the Gu­jarat assem­bly in De­cem­ber 2012 and was made Kar­nataka gov­er­nor in 2014. He is al­ways in touch with the BJP high com­mand. His lat­est ac­tion also proves that he is there in Raj Bha­van only to carry out the dic­tat from Modi-Shah duo.

In the next two weeks, the Kar­nataka leg­is­la­tors be­long­ing to the Congress and the JD(S) will be un­der grabs, it is an open mar­ket and the top BJP lead­ers are in oper­a­tion with huge amount in their kitty for of­fer­ing to the vac­il­lat­ing leg­is­la­tors. The flood­gates are open now, po­lit­i­cal sleaze and cor­rup­tion will dom­i­nate the Kar­nataka pol­i­tics for the next two weeks to the detri­ment of the val­ues of In­dian democ­racy.

The writer is an in­de­pen­dent jour­nal­ist. The views are per­sonal.

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